Dr. Rinaldo Walcott is the Director of the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. As an interdisciplinary scholar Rinaldo has published on music, literature, film and theatre and policy among other topics. All of Rinaldo’s research is founded in a philosophical orientation that is concerned with the ways in which coloniality shapes human relations across social and cultural time. Rinaldo is the author of Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (Insomniac Press, 1997 with a second revised edition in 2003); he is also the editor of Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism (Insomniac, 2000); and the Co-editor with Roy Moodley of Counselling Across and Beyond Cultures: Exploring the Work of Clemment Vontress in Clinical Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2010). In all of Rinaldo’s research and publication he focuses on Black cultural politics; histories of colonialism in the Americas, multiculturalism, citizenship, and diaspora; gender and sexuality; and social, cultural and public policy.
This paper explores the idea of freedom for Black people in the post-Obama presidential era. The paper accounts for the twinning of race and sex as two categories that complicated how we might think about what freedom means in the post-Obama era. By drawing on a number of events during and before the Obama presidency the paper argues that the struggle for the Demos cannot be achieved when located in representative bodies once marked as historically excluded bodies.