Los Angeles Times

Booker, Harris redefine black presidential candidates

Cory Booker talks frankly about racism as he campaigns, pointing out how the "dark spirit of bigotry" was part of the nation's founding and urging crowds to speak the truth about prejudice.

Kamala Harris bluntly tells supporters that racism is a potent force in society, saying Americans have for too long avoided confronting the "awful, shameless history on race in this country."

In 2019, more than a decade after the nation elected its first black president, and halfway through the term of a president who has faced nonstop accusations of racism, the two Democrats are redefining the black presidential candidate.

In their tone, their words, where they travel and which audiences they choose, the senators have embraced their black identities and followers in ways unprecedented for mainstream presidential candidates.

They stand in stark contrast to Barack Obama, who in his early 2008 campaign avoided talking about his race to the point that the biracial Illinois senator was awkwardly asked

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