Melissa Harris-Perry is professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. She is author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. She is also a contributor to MSNBC.
African-American children face threats to their survival, and African-American women are confronted with challenges to their capacity to parent healthy children. But shaming misinformation campaigns do nothing to address these problems.
But don't ignore the structural inequities that make the child's salvation necessary in the first place.
The Democratic Party found its voice in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It owes the people of New Orleans a real recovery.
America has a long way to go before we get to the "more perfect union" Obama promises. But the work has begun in earnest.
His convention speech should draw from the wisdom of black women activists who were the prophets of American democracy.