African American News

OBAMAPEDIA: Baltimore’s Lexicographer and Award-Winning Author Takes Special Glossary Project to Paris’ Sorbonne University

BALTIMOREJuly 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — One year after the publication of Dr. Zekeh Gbotokuma’s international award-winning book, OBAMANOMICS AND FRANCISCONOMICS (, the author decided to show his love affair with lexicography through a special glossary. Its working title is OBAMAPEDIA: A Special Barack Obama Glossary.

He started this project several years ago as a part of his effort to study, understand, interpret, and explain the Obama phenomenon, a.k.a. ‘the Obama phenom’ or ‘Obamenon.’ But he took a break from the project to write a Decision 2020-related book titled, Democracy and Demographics in the USA (Kindle Direct Publishing 2020) and Obamanomics and Francisconomics (2022). He resumed the Obamapedia project last June through a paper titled, “The Obama Phenom and the English Language: Reflections on the Barack Obama Naming Marathon”(

He presented this paper at the Common Ground Scholar’s Twenty-First International Conference of the NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE HUMANITIES on the theme, “Literature Landscapes: Forms of Knowledge in the Humanities,” Sorbonne University, Paris, France28-30 June 2023. Unarguably, Obamapedia is a literary work offering a form of knowledge about Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. This project is worth carrying out for three reasons. First, according to the Global Language Monitor (GLM), the historic election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States topped all major news stories since the year 2000. Citations of Barack Obama in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, and throughout the blogosphere more than doubled the other main stories of the 2000-2009 decade combined (for example, the Iraq War, Beijing 2008 Olympics, the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Asian Tsunami). However, Paul J. Payack noted that “if you included ‘Obama-‘ as a root word, Obama- in its many forms (Obamacare, Obamamania, Obamanomics, Obamulus, Obamenon), would have overtaken both ‘change’ and ‘bailout’ [the most popular words] for the top spot.” It is worth noting that the definitions of the Barack Obama-based neologisms and dysphemisms are reminiscent of the mixed feelings about the first black president of the USA.

Second, Barack- and Obama-based neologisms have enriched the English language. Moreover, ‘Obamatory’ or Obama oratory has contributed to the status of English as the de facto global lingua franca. It has done so through such best-selling books as, The Speeches of Barack Obama (Yamamoto 2008) and Parlez comme Barack Obama: Imitez la rhétorique des leaders [Speak Like Obama] (Varrod, 2023).

Third, Gbotokuma confesses that the Obama phenom played a big role in his decision to become a U.S. citizen in 2012. That is why he has done his best to academically contribute to the ‘YesWeCan’ President’s legacy. The conference at the French Ivy League institution of higher learning was a perfect global forum to announce and spread the word about Obamapedia, thereby reflecting on and contributing to that amazing legacy.

Publication details: TBD.

SOURCE Dr. Zekeh S. Gbotokuma

One thought on “OBAMAPEDIA: Baltimore’s Lexicographer and Award-Winning Author Takes Special Glossary Project to Paris’ Sorbonne University

  • Zekeh Gbotokuma

    A Big Thank You to VISION Newspaper for spreading the word about my academic engagement. My presentation at Universite Sorbonne in Paris was intended to serve two purposes. First, to share my work in progress titled, “OBAMAPEDIA.” Second, to inform bibliophiles of my new and Award-Winning Book, “OBAMANOMICS AND FRANCISCONOMICS” (2022). I can’t do it all by myself. That’s why I am grateful to VISION.


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