In the end, The Black Presidency possesses a loaves-and-fishes quality. Drawing mostly on the news cycle, close readings of carefully crafted speeches and a handful of glittering encounters, Dyson has managed to do a lot with a little. The book might well be considered an interpretive miracle, one performed in fealty and hope for a future show of presidential grace, either from this president or, should she get elected, the next one.
...an enlightening work but a perplexing one, too, in which Dyson’s incisive criticisms are clouded by the author’s need to make nice with his subject and emphasize his proximity to power. The Black Presidency spends much time distinguishing prophetic and political voices in America’s racial debates, but its author cannot decide which tradition to embrace.