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Ebony Names Obama Person of the Year, But What If Obamamania Never Happened?

No big surprise. Ebony Magazine has named Barack Obama as the “Person of the Year.”

If the election of the first African-American president does not stand out as a landmark event in the history of a magazine founded for African-American readers in 1942 and now reaching 12 million readers, it’s difficult to imagine what does.

“We won because the American people mobilized for change,” Obama says in the interview that he gave to Ebony on Nov. 13, his first interview following election. “It really was people at a grassroots level who carried our campaign financially, who carried it organizationally, and we don’t want that to dissipate.” (The Swamp)

While this is all peachy keen I have to wonder — if this had never happened, if Barack Obama had decided two years ago he liked just being a senator and wanted to stay one instead of running in 2008 — who would be Ebony’s big end of the year star? Was there another black person who came close to having Barack’s banner year? And if not, who came in sloppy seconds? Is there another politician, entertainer, mogul, athlete, scholar, media sensation or business person with a distinct whiff of blackness who could don this cover spot?

And don’t say either Will Smith or Oprah Winfrey. While those two are rolling in it, they really didn’t do anything remarkable in 2008, unless you count Oprah endorsing Obama and campaigning for him — which you can’t count in the world where Obamamania never existed.

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17 thoughts on “Ebony Names Obama Person of the Year, But What If Obamamania Never Happened?

  1. Clearly it would’ve been PEOPLE of the year, and they would be named “Glitter” and “Chuckles.”But seriously — I don’t remember Ebony doing a person of the year special before. I think they just wanted to put him on the cover again.

  2. I believe this is the first stab at it, Shani, but your theory is probably correct. Obama is like magazine cover crack to them. That said, I wish Google Ads had the ability to tell that my site is largely pro Obama and that very few people here are going to click on anti-Obama ads and I’d like to generate some revenue. But considering they do the same thing to Huffington Post I guess I’ll just have to deal.

  3. I wonder if there will be less fan-fair when a decendant of slaves becomes president? Will everyone acknowledge that she/he is the true fullfilment of King’s dream? Or will we go on pretending that King’s “I have a dream” speach wasn’t about the decendants of slaves?

  4. I would nominate David Patterson, the blind governor of New York. He’s smart, funny, reasonably good looking, handicapped and a cheating dog (because nobody’s perfect). And he’s only the 4th African-American governor in US history.

  5. My pick would be E Stanley O’Neal. He took the no 1 brokerage company to new all time heights w/ his decision to roll big time in the mortgage securitization market place. It lead to Merill’s highest stock price ever, it’s greatest earnings ever and a $46.4 million a year salary in 2007. In 2008 his strategy of retianing to many of the bonds they issued lead to Merrill’s largest losses ever and capital depletion that cost the firm its independence. E Stanley O’Neal walked w/ 162 million in compensation, retirement, et al.From no water no toilets and no family car, an education in the schoolhouse his grandfather built in Roanoke, Ala to the corporate White House of Merrill Lynch.A far better story but very American HE GOT PAID.

  6. sandra says:

    Black Snob. You don’t just have to deal. I heard you can contact google and arrange for google ads which reflect your desires. You may want to contact them. Good luck.

  7. my vote is Mellody Hobson, and yes she was a fundraiser for Obama, but aside from Obamania, she has navigated Ariel Investments through tough water in these trying financial times and in addition to that is dating George Lucas, from a “geek” standpoint, that’s just cool.regarding the ads – demo targeting is huge, if you contact google about your audience, you may even be able to increase your revenue %, or atleast your overall revenue. but i don’t mind clicking more when i’m on the page 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if there will be less fan-fair when a decendant of slaves becomes president? Will everyone acknowledge that she/he is the true fullfilment of King’s dream? Or will we go on pretending that King’s “I have a dream” speach wasn’t about the decendants of slaves?……………………. Kings dream was about all “Blacks’. Sure I could sit here and nit pick apart every Black person background in history who achieved something or I could be happy someone well deserving being came president.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bud Fox, Well since the original people who built America came from Africa. I think it’s sort poetic justice that an Half African is now going to govern America. Obama origin doesn’t matter to me. I think he’s a good guy and way better than Bush. Michelle Obama will do her ancestors proud as First Lady. And that is good enough for me.

  10. Anonymous says:

    um…while i love that ebony is making President-Elect Obama its Person of the Year…um..er…uh, isn’t this first time they have done such? i’m just saying.

  11. I’d go with Tyler Perry. His show set records about cable TV. I’m not saying its a good show, but it does show that he has a following and may have more power than most Blacks in Hollywood because of this.

  12. to give Tyler Perry person of the year means they should have given one to Jay-Z or Russel Simmons. it's not so difficult for blacks to be put in the spot light for doing the same old shuck & jive. the focus should be on those that go beyond the stereotype to make a difference.

  13. Stanley O’Neal – Interesting.Even if Obama did not run, I am sure that he would have been instrumental in whatever campaign that the Dems may have manufactured. I think he would have still won as a Senator.

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