The 2008 election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was supposed to have elevated America into a post-racial society. There was the hope that black Americans would be granted more opportunities and would progress in their economic and social relations.

Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred as blacks are reporting feeling less free to express themselves, and less empowered.

A recent study showed that more than 70 percent of blacks felt comfortable utilizing their freedom of speech rights in 2009, but sadly, this number didn’t hold up throughout the remainder of President Obama’s first term. “…Perceptions of political freedom deteriorated among conservative and religious blacks,” says James Gibson, professor of government and African-American studies at Washington University. By 2011, only 56 percent of blacks felt comfortable expressing themselves in a manner of free speech, which harkens back to the days of a pre-Obama presidency.

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