On the day before Obama is to announce his candidacy (9/2/2007) here is coverage of his progress from:
The Washington Post. This includes video of him and Clinton.
Obama’s choice of venue, Illinois, will have resonance with voters. This is the place Abraham Lincoln started his campaign with a promise of fighting to end slavery. Responses to the media campaign, and in particular the use of language such as reference to Obama as the new “boy” touch on a raw nerve (see below).>
Obama is calling for an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq saying that troops would be brought home early on.
I have heard that the origin of the term “cowboy” originated when cattle were looked after by black people. The black cowboy has been forgotten after years of Westerns have painted a different picture.
“Carolina also became the pre-eminent cattle country in the English empire, as the Carolinians pioneered many practices later perfected on a grand scale in the American West, including cattle branding, annual roundups, cow pens, and cattle drives from the interior to the market in Charles Town. Many owners entrusted the roaming cattle to the care of black slaves, who had previous experience as herdsmen in Africa. In Carolina the black herdsmen became known as “cowboys”—apparently the origin of that famous term.”
“Before it had any special application to America, cowboy was used in England with the obvious meaning: “a boy who took care of cows.” Or he could have been a man, for boy implied not only youth and boyish attitudes but also low status.”
It’s not only in this context that the term “boy” has associations with not only youth but has frequently been used to denote low status, not least in British colonial history.