Barack Obama may be our first black president, but as Clarence Lusane writes in The Black History of the White House (City Lights), pop culture has long fantasized about African-American chief executives. We’ve compiled a slideshow of some fictional occupants of this esteemed office.
James Roy Wilde
Imagined in: O Presidente Negro, 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel set in United States
Rise to Power: Elected in 2228, when white vote splits between sex-segregated eugenicist parties. Dies mysteriously before he can take the oath of office.
Image: Claridad Coleccion
Imagined in: Irving Wallace’s 1964 novel The Man, later a movie starring James Earl Jones
Rise to Power: House speaker Dilman assumes office after president and veep die. Impeached for uppityness.
Image: Everett Collection
Imagined in: Head of State, a forgettable 2003 Chris Rock comedy.
Rise to Power: Cynical Dems nominate Gilliam as a sure loser. Blue comedy and economic populism win over voters.
Imagined in: 24, a post-9/11 torture-porn TV drama.
Rise to Power: Beats incumbent, gets poisoned. Sits out election, gets shot by sniper dispatched by his former VP.
Imagined in: Deep Impact, 1998 disaster flick starring Morgan Freeman.
Rise to Power: Declares martial law as comet heads toward Earth. Rebuilds US Capitol after tsunami wipes out East Coast.
Image: Globe Photos/Zuma
Imagined in: Tom Clancy’s 2003 thriller The Teeth of the Tiger
Rise to Power: VP Jackson assumes office when prez retires. Assassinated by KKK member.
Imagined in: Philip K. Dick’s 1966 sci-fi novel The Crack in Space
Rise to Power: Elected in 2080. Domestic racial issues take a backseat to conflict with a hominid race on “alter-Earth.”
Credit: Ace Books/Coverbrowser.com