In 2007, during his contentious primary race with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama spent a week campaigning with Newark Mayor Corey Booker and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The media continually highlighted the difference between these three young, African-American politicians and the generation of black leaders that came before them. As Politico's Ben Smith then noted, "All three are Democrats who came up outside the two main, often linked channels of black political advancement: the urban machine, and the church. They are too young to have earned fame in the civil rights movement. Obama, Patrick, and Booker each won with substantial white and black support."
A new book by Professor Andra Gillespie, "The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America," examines the new generation of black politicians exemplified by President Obama through the lens of Cory Booker's mayoral election and his tenure in Newark.