Responses to Barack Obama Winning
The Presidency of
the United States of America
You showed greater
faith in the American People than I ever did. You are a
very excellent guy. Your faith in human nature does you
credit. You called it right, and I did not. I salute
* * *
I can truly say,
God Bless America, land that I love. I believe in this
song as a little black girl, singing it at every school
gathering. I became an unbeliever of this song as an
adult after being a witness to so many unjust acts in
these United States. But in my heart I knew a change
would come and it came tonight. I can sing this song
proudly now and tear up like the little black girl that
uses to sing God Bless America.—Sheila (10/5)
* * *
Two years ago, when I went to President-Elect Obama's
rally in Oakland, I did not believe that "the Senator
from Chicago" had a chance of beating Hilary Clinton,
let alone becoming the leader of this nation. I just
thought he deserved a fair shot at it.
This happening stuns me beyond words and gladdens me to
* * *
your e-literary/political activism! You became the
epicenter of an intense and
wide-ranging, politico-literary activism that surely
contributed to this victory through providing
enlightenment on so many subjects, issues and actors on
the campaign stage. I have tried to capture my emotions
on this indelible moment in time before they flit away.
Attached, please find my offering, though it is as yet
unpolished.—Dr. Rose Ure Mezu
Obama's former school in
* * *
New Dawn of a Thousand Splendid Suns
With just one vote cast in America,
everywhere a new world is born
Morning yesterday, and late into the next
day, it was still morning
Morning here and there and everywhere, cold
and misery stopped
For just One Moment as faces smiled,
laughter boomed forth, fists
pumped into the air, Horns hooted the
night owl away to make room
For the cheery heart even as tears of joy
and awe rolled down cheeks
It is the dawn of a New Day, from happy
hearts new plans are afoot
For now it is okay to smile, it is
fashionable to dream dreams again
Not just to plot and scheme looking for a
gun and a gain
Not just to shoot in the foot and hurl all
the bad names in the book
For just One Perfect Moment, the
Unbelievable did indeed happen
For One Unsullied Moment of palpable ecstasy
with no help from drugs
The world beheld a figure uniting the West,
Orient and land of the Rising Sun.
And now, it’s the in-thing to feel young
again, young as this new dawn
Indeed, the Age of Aquarius is with us anew,
a golden age of adventure
The Age of a Thousand Splendid Suns, of
baking heat; something’s cooking
Something, something good to eat, and share,
and then some to give away
Not hoarding according to creed or tongue or
color or race; an Age of the
New Moon when the old sit around and watch
the young at moonlit play
From coast to coast, from all peoples black
and white and brown and yellow
Jubilant shouts fill the air, caps and
scarves like confetti get thrown up in the
A thrilling new moment that captures the end
of an old order of rancorous dislike
The passing of an age of strife and wars
that turned the world into a wasteland
And pitted hearts against hearts, nations
against nations, people against people
Making their mock against the divine dictum
of Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself
Upon us once again is the Age of Romance and
idealism that stirs and thrills the soul
When a tall, lanky, young Black,
self-assured, with the DNA and voice of a
Stands tall and proclaims that we are all
nation – no black or brown or white or
That all nations are all one people, one
God-ordained rainbow world, and we all can
If only we can believe in the Change We
Need, and that Oh, yes, We Can, indeed!
Articulate and young, with flourishing
oratorical skills, he dares all to dream
If Barack Obama is a man of destiny, no
human being can change it.
Four years ago, there was no Obama on the
national scene, but today there is
Barack is a creature come to fill a vast and
deep void that is crying to be filled.
The hungry heart to stay alive will always
grab at the food and drink it is offered
And since the old track road is dusty,
foot-worn and strewn with pricking thorns
Peoples tread this New Path in answer to the
call of this throbbing freshly-strung Drum
Seeking to Spread the Wealth of the New
Deal’s warmth both at home and abroad
Barack Hussein Obama – as unlikely a name as
Guess Who comes to Dinner
But in a world in which old and young dare
to laugh again, hope and dream
Nothing, nothing it seems is impossible and
anything, anything can happen!
He has other names too – Inspirationally
Kennedyesque, New Camelot Reborn
Transcendent, PostCivil Rights, PostRacial
MLK, Jr. like Moses sees the Promised Land
but Joshua’s Obama sets foot in it.
But I call him TransAfrica – a New World
Hybrid of Black and White Love
That comes to lay to quiet rest the ghosts
of slavery, greed and ignorance
That comes to cleanse and heal and soothe
the gaping wound on Africa’s soul
That comes to wipe clean the stain on the
soul of America, this New World of wonder
That is an experiment on multicultural
living with colors as bright as the Rainbow
That heralds the New Age of a thousand
brilliant suns, and is it any wonder,
That in Africa, we
always believed that it is Yet Morning on
God’s Creation Day.
Dr. Rose Ure Mezu
– April 5,
* * * *
5th November 2008
President Barack Obama. A brother
will be sitting at the controls of the American project.
George Bush and the People for a New American Century
will, come January 20th, be in the recycling
A great collective sigh of relief
and cries of celebration sweep across the world. The
collective planetary volume of emotion-generated
lachrymation is probably enough to fill numerous Olympic
sized swimming pools.
Thank you, America, for giving
peace a chance. Thank you for choosing someone with whom
the vast majority of the population of this planet can
identify. We’ve seen what a stupid white man can do as
President, now let us see what an intelligent brown
brother can do.
And yet. Watching the celebrations,
I was reminded of the day in 1994.—Richard Lawson
MLK's sister: Christine
* * * *
How about dem apples my friend?
Glorious moment in my life and I feel invigorated!—Peggy
* * *
I'm still full and overwhelmed.
What a wonderful wonderful time to experience. Red
* * *
1. We’ve been fighting
Since Virginia’s first Black backs
Went from indentured servants
To slaves overnight
We’ve been fighting
Almost 300 years
Almost 3 centuries
Fighting the specter of racism
Till November 4th 2008
When 100 year old women and men
Black, Brown, Red, White, and Yellow,
Native and newly naturalized citizens
Pressed buttons pushing votes
To change our lives forever
To turn hope into possibility
To say no “to welfare for Wall Street
Without help for Main Street”
To say yes to a future with the promise
To fulfill the American Dream
To bring America back to Democracy
To say no to a past of pain
To say no to indifference and yes to
To say no to fear and yes to faith in
Thank you all. God bless
2. All day, my students asked:
What were you doing last night Doc?
Last night? November 4, 2008?
When American history exploded
Transported more than half a nation
Into a frenzy, into shock, into smiles and
I cried, cried, cried again, big ballooka
tears raining down
My face, clogging my nose, my eyes leaked
Words escaped me, until joy covered me in a
Blanket of tears and rain, tears erasing
Tears writing hope across my cheeks,
Fear drowning in tears.
I cried for Emmet Till, for Malcolm X, for
JFK, for my grandfather
Frank who was born a slave in Sumpter,
Alabama, and walked to
New Orleans to be free, but landed in
Laurel, Mississippi; so for
Most of my life, I thought he’d left slavery
along the Natchez Trail,
Stealing into swamps by day, saved by
Indians—some Natchez, then Houma by
Night, hopping over alligators and slave
Muddy mounds, and braving thundershowers
under palmetto palms
I cried for Martin Luther King, for Robert
Kennedy, for my chocolate-faced
Mother who had to explain too many times
whose pale-olive baby she was keeping
When they saw me in tow, hanging on to her
skirts, and breath, stories, and wisdom.
Last night, I cried for all those shoulders,
backs, and bridges Barack Hussein Obama
Climbed to become the 44th President of the
United States of America.
I cried for joy because for the first time
in my life,
America, all these smiling faces in
Chicago’s Grant Park, a rainbow in faces,
Crying joyful rain with me, rejoicing
America is its people,
All of its people,
All of them, all of us,
We, as one nation under God.
God bless us all. Now,
Mona Lisa Saloy, New Orleans, Louisiana
* * *
The election day
was busy for me. I came back from Seoul Monday night
after midnight, but excitement got me up and out early
to prepare for my world religions classes at Saint
Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ, the host of President
elect Obama's first rally in New Jersey. The crowd
filled the auditorium and every one of our classrooms
(all of which are hi-tech rigged) and spilled out on to
the streets around our small campus, outside of which we
rigged up loudspeakers to carry the speech of the Junior
Senator from Illinois. I heard rumblings of his victory
from among the military personnel going to Korean bases
on my flights to Seoul on 19-20 October. I
how the Seoul government was negotiating military
agreements with North Korea and the United States
simultaneously during my fortnight in the land of the
morning calm. They stalled during those negotiations
while they watched the US election so very closely. They
hoped the new President would not impede their progress
toward the reunification of their sadly divided nation.
So many young people to whom I delivered lectures and
sermons hoped the American people would awake from our
apparent destructive, manic recent history and begin to
think and reason with all the world's small nations,
I had more than one
occasion to thank God for the world's churches and their
pastor-theologians who yet create in our wee
congregations a semblance of heaven on earth, as
difficult and challenging as that task may have been.
Rev. Coy Lee,
PhD, on the occasion of my ordination to Gospel Ministry
in Clarksville, Arkansas on 26 March 1968, preached
"Welcome to the Struggle." He asked us all to struggle
the good struggle of faith. Just a few days before Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. I took his
sermon very seriously and personally for the 40 years
plus since then. So I participated as a theologian of
the Bible in this campaign year in the role of a
volunteer advocate for the just and righteous Lord God
of the Bible for the National Committee of one of our
major political parties.
speaking, all the powerful empires of the world
collapsed when they enforced conformity and tried to
stamp out many conflicting points of view. I hoped our
American experiment would avoid this simplistic, fierce
temptation. I still hope and pray that we have. Here are
my emotional responses to this election, not to try and
change anyone who may read them, but just to express my
struggling, aching heart. I tend to learn from and
express my feelings through music.
I did not feel the
tears and sobs until they overtook me last night when
Barack Hussein Obama won the right to enter upon a
The sobs and tears came from my life time of struggling
the struggle of faith.
When we processed into worship at Ascension Church in
East Harlem, we would sing:
We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord,
trusting in His Holy Word; He's never failed me yet.
The words could not yet express
then what they fail to frame even now.
Sobs and tears
overtook me on a hot late summer day 45+ years ago when
Martin Luther King Jr.'s words transcended themselves to
emotionalize an ideal deeply imbedded in the American
Dream attested to by other words that expressed more
than their author meant:
. . . that all people are
created equal . . .
and tears were my ancestors' bread too many times to
count. Covenanters hunted down and killed in Scottish
lowland forests by the Tories,
hides earned our killers a few dollars more, Coal Miners
and their wives and children mowed down in Ludlow,
Colorado massacre, defended in part by my uncles Jack
and Jay, so the very first words the tears and sobs
brought into my deeply faithful, struggling soul are:
We have come over a way that with tears has
We have come, treading our path through the
blood of the slaughtered,
Out from our gloomy past, till now we stand
Where the white gleam
of our bright star is cast. (JW Johnson,
Ralph Garlin Clingan
* * *
"All the Adams and Eves"
I have known, without doubt, since
November, 2004 when John Kerry gave his concession
speech that Barack Obama would become our first black
president in my lifetime. Such a fact was revealed to me
by The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is
not a concept in which some persons believe or
understand. Be that as it may. I do not separate my
belief/understanding of such from Barack's ascendancy to
the Presidential office.
("Give Peace a Chance: The
Ancestral Spirits are Watching" explains my "vision").
I think again of Margaret Walker's poem, "For my People," and I realize that "my
people" includes "all the faces, all the adams and
eves..." And I offer several other quotes,
which reflect a fraction of what I feel tonight.
"For I know the
plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope
and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"Well Lord, I see Divine Destiny written all
over him . . . [Barack Obama]
You are a strange God . . . full of irony. You
love to upset the logic of learned men.
You are here now, Lord, you have
brought forth a princely servant come
to call up
liberty, justice and freedom for all
our children. You have blessed America. For
OBAMA PRAYER March
"The rest will be revealed."
Percy L. Drake (1912-2001)
* * *
Rudy, please include in your
comments on the election these words of solidarity from
Cuban journalist and novelist Marta Rojas, who, like so
many of her countrymen and women, has followed our
election with great anticipation. It is our fervent hope
that Barack Obama will lift the illegal and inhumane
blockade against Cuba.—Miriam
Querida Miriam, no quería pasar un
día más sin felicitarte y felicitar a todos los amigos
por la alegría que presupongo a causa del triunfo del
Presidente electo Obama. Ha sido una cruzada histórica,
sin duda alguna. Un abrazo, Marta.
[Dear Miriam, I did not want
another day to pass without congratulating you and all
our friends for the happiness that you must feel because
of the victory of President elect Obama. Without a
doubt, this has been an historic crusade. An embrace,
* * *
An Open Letter to Barack Obama
By Alice Walker
(Nov. 5, 2008)
Dear Brother Obama,
You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is
for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United
States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful,
and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver
the torch so many others before you carried, year after
year, decade after decade, century after century, only
to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice
and of law, is almost more than the heart
can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to
burden you, for you are of a different time, and,
indeed, because of all the relay runners before you,
North America is a different place. It is really only to
say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations,
that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of
Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would
actually appear, someday, was part of our strength.
Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on
your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the
weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.
I would advise you to remember that you did not create
the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you
alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to
balance. A primary responsibility that you do have,
however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To
make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and
play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And
so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are
used to seeing men in the White House soon become
juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice
their wives and children looking strained and stressed.
They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind
us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your
family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all
this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to
relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model
real success, which is all that so many people in the
world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses
and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they
can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is
not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside
job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.
I would further advise you not to take on other people's
enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of
fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all
of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain
religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not
to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are
ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you
are commander in chief of the United States and are
sworn to protect our beloved country; this we
However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with
which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the
sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole
communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a
means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already
happened to people of color, poor people, women,
children. We see where this leads, where it has led.
A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally
is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless
caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese
government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is
the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a
credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the
soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to
animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and
majestic, also dies.
And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious
battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and
lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit
and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can
find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way,
and brightening the world.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
In Peace and Joy,
* * *
Hispanics for Obama hail a new
beginning—Hispanic commentators hailed the election
of Barack Obama as the beginning of a better life for
the millions of Latinos struggling to carve out a path
as America’s largest minority community, following their
unprecedented support for the Democratic candidate in
Tuesday’s historic election.
El Nuevo Herald, the
Spanish-language sister paper of the Miami Herald, said
Mr Obama’s victory heralded a return to “rational
politics” while Univision, the largest Spanish
television network, praised him as an agent of social
and economic change for Americans of all backgrounds.
Laying out a “Latino agenda”, the
network’s website called for speedy and comprehensive
immigration reform, a solution to the economic crisis
and end to the politics of fear and division – the
issues that drove Hispanics away from the Republicans
and into Mr Obama’s embrace in large numbers this year.
Hispanic voters have long allied
themselves with the Republican party on the basis of
their conservative cultural values, while it was assumed
that inter-minority rivalry would leave them reticent to
support an African-American for an office their own
community has not yet attained. But this year, Hispanic
Americans defied conventional wisdom to throw their
weight behind Mr Obama, with an unprecedented 66 per
cent nationwide voting for the Democratic candidate.
* * *
becoming our new President in 2008 makes me feel as if a
MIRACLE occurred! I know you must be so happy! because
the waiting has been so long, it seemed a dream our 60's
generation would never see come to life. So glad so many
are here to see this but so sorry the men and women who
lost their lives for the struggles they endured are not.
Two songs popped into my mind that
remind me of this event!: "A Change is Gonna Come"
and "Society's Child"
Here's Sam Cooke's
song which his brother said he was prompted to write
after hearing by Bob Dylans's, "The Times They Are A-Changin'."
Note: Earl Palmer (drummer) passed this Sept 08.
A Change is
Gonna Come (Sam Cooke) Sam Cooke / Pop Chart
#31 Jan. 30 1965 (Top Pop Singles) RCA Single 8486
Album: Keep Movin' On - Sam Cooke Abkco #
18771-3563-2 (2001) / Notes: Producer: Hugo Peretti and
Luigi Creatore at the RCA Studio in California on
December 21, 1963.
Arranger: René Hall
Musicians: The Great Earl Palmer - drums
Chuck Badie, & Israel Baker - violin, Norman Bartold
Harold Battiste & Arnold Belnick - guitar, Louis
Blackburn - trombone
John Ewing - trombone, Harry Hyams - viola, René Hall -
William Hinshaw - french horn, William Kurasch - trumpet
Irving Lipschultz - violin, Leonard Malarsky - violin,
Alexander Neiman - viola, Jack Pepper - violin
Emil Radocchia - marimba, tympani, percussion, Emmet
Sargeant - cello,
Schaeffer - violin, Sidney Sharp - violin, Darrel
Terwilliger - violin,
David Wells - trombone, Clif White
Tibor Zelig - violin
Album: Keep Movin' On - Sam
Cooke Abkco # 18771-3563-2 (2001)
A Change is Gonna
By Sam Cooke
I was born by the river
In a little tent
Oh and just like the river
I been runnin' ever since
It's been a long, a long time comin'
But I know-oh-whoa
A change gon' come
Oh, yes it will
It's been too hard
But I'm afraid to die
'Cause I don't know what's up there
Beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know-oh-whoa
A change gon' come
Oh, yes it will
I go to the movie
And I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin me
'Don't hang around'
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know-oh-whoa
A change gon' come
Oh, yes it will
Then I go-oh-whoa, to
An I say, 'Brother help me please'
But he winds up knockin' me
Back on down my knees
Ooh, there been time
that I thought
I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time comin'
But I know-oh-whoa
A change is gon' come
Oh, yes it will.
The song below you might not have
heard in your area due to censoring. Our radio
station played it a lot. I still remember it as being
a hush subject by a brave female singer. The backing
instruments were very original and dramatic making the
song quite memorable. Actually, we thought we were
hearing the words wrong. I think Leonard Bernstein
said the organ playing was 'sassy' The date was 1967.
Barack Obama was born in 1961.
Society's Child (Baby I've Been
Thinking) (Janis Ian) Janis Ian / Single
Verve Records #5027 / Pop Chart #14 May 27 1967
(Baby I've Been Thinking)
By Janis Ian
Come to my door, baby,
Face is clean and shining black as night.
My mother went to answer you know
That you looked so fine.
Now I could understand
your tears and your shame,
She called you "boy" instead of your name.
When she wouldn't let you inside,
When she turned and said
"But honey, he's not our kind."
She says I can't see
you any more, baby,
Can't see you anymore.
Walk me down to school,
Everybody's acting deaf and blind.
Until they turn and say,
"Why don't you stick to your own kind."
My teachers all laugh,
their smirking stares,
Cutting deep down in our affairs.
Preachers of equality,
Think they believe it,
Then why won't they just let us be?
They say I can't see
you anymore baby,
Can't see you anymore.
One of these days I'm
gonna stop my listening,
Gonna raise my head up high.
One of these days I'm gonna raise up my
glistening wings and fly.
But that day will have
to wait for a while.
Baby I'm only society's child.
When we're older things may change,
But for now this is the way they must
I say I can't see you
Can't see you anymore.
No, I don't want to see you anymore, baby.
With All The Best Wishes on this
Joyous Occasion, Anita
* * *
Obama's kin in Kenya
Across the Globe
Cuba hails Obama
win, hopes US embargo will ease—(Nov 6, 2008)—Cuba
hails US President-elect Barack Obama's presidential
election victory and would one day welcome an easing of
the 46-year-old US trade embargo, Foreign Investment
Minister Marta Lomas said in a statement.
Government, however, is prepared for US-Cuban relations
to remain "the same," she added, alluding to Havana's
struggle to have the embargo lifted. "If Obama takes
some action to ease the embargo, it would be welcomed
and of course it would be of help, but we're prepared
for conditions to remain the same," she told reporters
at a trade fair.
satisfaction over Mr Obama's win over his Republican
rival John McCain, Ms Lomas said Cubans should work out
their problems on their own. "That's what will get us
ahead." During the long US election campaign, Cubans
rooted for Mr Obama, believing his victory would
overturn the US economic embargo on the communist island
The embargo was
hardened under outgoing President George W Bush. Many
Cubans are looking forward to the day when restrictions
are lifted on travel to and from the United States,
where 1.5 million Cubans live, mainly in Florida.
There is also
optimism about Mr Obama's declaration during his
campaign that he would be ready to talk about easing
restrictions on travel and on remittances - the money US
Cubans send to family and friends in Cuba.
* * *
Hamid Karzai, the Afghan
president, congratulated Obama on his US election
victory, saying it took the world into a "new era".
* * *
Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi foreign minister, said
Washington would not adopt a "quick disengagement"
policy with Baghdad under the presidency of Barack Obama
as a "great deal is at stake here".
Speaking to Al
Jazeera, Zebari said: "I think it [Obama's election] was
a major, major change ... although as far is Iraq is
concerned I don't believe there will be any changes
overnight. And there won't be any immediate
disengagement because a great deal is at stake for
"I don't think
there is much difference between the Iraqi government
position and President-elect Obama's. He is
contemplating withdrawing US forces within 16 months. We
may have some difficulties with that time-line, but we
also, in the status of forces agreement, set the date of
2011 as the date for the withdrawal of US troops from
Iraq . So really the differences are not very wide."
* * *
Iraq's black rebels back Obama 3 November 2008—View
From Iraq FOX News BASRA, Iraq (AFP)— Descendants
of black rebels in the southern Iraqi oil city of Basra
are unconditionally supporting Barack Obama in Tuesday's
US election though some fear racism may prevent him from
"I don't think he'll win because he is black and America
is racist. But if he wins, his success will benefit
black people throughout the world and I hope Europe will
follow the same route," said Sami Nassir Khami, a port
worker in the city. He is a descendant of hundreds of
slaves who rose up against the Abassid government
between the years 869 and 883.
Landowners in southern Iraq had brought the workers from
eastern Africa, from where Obama's family originates, to
toil on their labour-intensive estates. Najem Abud, a 38
year-old teacher, is also praying for an Obama victory
in the US presidential election. "I hope he will win and
that he will therefore be the first black president of
the United States and the world will understand that
black people can govern the world," he said.
The so-called "Zanj rebellion" -- zanj is a pejorative
word for black people -- began in 869 at the instigation
of Ali ibn Mohammed, who claimed to be a descendant of
Ali, the fourth caliph.
Mohammed convinced several hundred slaves in the Basra
region to revolt against the central government in
Samarra. The uprising quickly grew and the rebels won
battles against the caliph's forces. They built a town,
al-Mukhtarah, and captured several others before the
movement was crushed in 883.
"I would be very happy if Obama won because he is an
Afro-American and I hope the majority of countries will
one day be governed by black people. I observe that
racism is strong in Europe, even in sports," said Abud
Abdel Hafidh, a 43-year-old taxi driver.
Majid Hamid Ahmed, a 22-year-old economics student, is
more cautious. "Frankly, I don't think American politics
will change if he is elected but we will be happy if the
most powerful country in the world is governed by a
black African," he said.
Descendants of the Zanj rebels represent 15 to 20
percent of the Basra region's 2.5 million inhabitants.
Victory for Obama would be a sign "that racism is behind
us and it would be a source of pride for all black
people around the world," according to Suhail Hamid
Ahmad, a 22-year-old history teacher.
"If the most powerful country on the planet is led by a
black man, we will feel that black Africans have become
the leaders of the world," 30-year-old policeman Nawaf
Wadih Mohammad said.
"It will be a true victory for black people because we
have suffered down the ages and we had the feeling that
Obama is close to the Arabs," was the view of Khalil
Ibrahim Jassim, 60, a pensioner. After the US-led
invasion of Iraq in 2003, British forces occupied Basra.
Since December, security in the province of four million
people has been under Iraqi control but 4,000 British
soldiers remain at a base near the city's airport. In
March, the Iraqi government restored its authority in
Basra with a major offensive against the militias which
controlled many districts.
* * *
Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister,
congratulated Obama on his victory, saying he hoped the
Democrat would promote "peace and stability" in the
region around Afghanistan. "I hope that under
your dynamic leadership, [the] United States will
continue to be a source of global peace and new ideas
for humanity," he said in a statement, directed at
"I look forward to
more opportunities to discuss ways to further strengthen
Pakistan-US relations and to promote peace and stability
in our region and beyond." Obama has riled
Islamabad in the past, pledging that the US under his
leadership would "take out" al-Qaeda and Taliban bases
* * *
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president,
congratulated Obama and urged him to speed up efforts to
reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
congratulates US president-elect Barack Obama in his
name and in the name of the Palestinian people and hopes
he will speed up efforts to achieve peace, particularly
since a resolution of the Palestinian problem and the
Israeli-Arab conflict is key to world peace," Nabil Abu
Rudeina, Abbas's spokesman, said.
hopes the new administration will continue to make the
peace efforts one of its top priorities." Meanwhile, Hamas,
which rules the Gaza Strip, urged Obama to learn from
the "mistakes" of previous US administrations in dealing
with the Muslim and Arab worlds.
"He must learn from
the mistakes of the previous administrations, including
that of Bush which has destroyed Afghanistan , Iraq ,
Lebanon and Palestine ," said Fawzi Barhum, a Hamas
"He must improve US
ties with the rest of the world rather than wave the big
American stick. "We want him to
support the Palestinian cause or at least not to be
biased towards the Israeli occupation. We have no
problem establishing normal relations with the United
States to explain our just cause."
* * *
Israeli-US relations face "a bright
future", Ygal Palmor, a spokesman for Israel
's foreign ministry, said in reaction to
Obama's election to the White House.
congratulate the two great friends of Israel
, John McCain for his great campaign, Barack
Obama for his historic victory.
certain that Israeli-American friendship
faces a bright future."
Tzipi Livni, leader of
the ruling Kadima party, recalled Obama's visit to
Israel in July and said that "the people of Israel felt
he [Obama] is a man who is deeply committed to Israel 's
security and peace".
"Israel hopes to
pursue close strategic cooperation with the new
administration and the new US president, and hopes to
further tighten the unshakeable ties between our two
countries," she said.
* * *
Hu Jintao , China 's president, congratulated Obama on
his victory in the US presidential poll, saying a closer
relationship between the two nations would be "for the
benefit of Chinese and American people, and people
around the world".
"In a new
historical era, I look forward to ... taking our
bilateral relationship of constructive co-operation to a
new level," Hu said in a written message, according to a
statement on the Chinese foreign ministry's website.
Wen Jiabao , China
's prime minister, also congratulated Obama, while Xi
Jinping, the vice-president, sent a message of
congratulations to Joe Biden, Obama's running mate and
America 's next vice-president.
* * *
Gordon Brown, the UK 's prime minister, congratulated
Obama, hailing his "energising politics ... his
progressive values and his vision for the future".
"I would like to
offer my sincere congratulations to Barack Obama on
winning the presidency of the United States ," he said
in a statement.
between the United States and the United Kingdom is
vital to our prosperity and security ... Barack Obama
ran an inspirational campaign, energising politics with
his progressive values and his vision for the future."
* * *
India 's ruling Congress party hailed
Obama's victory, saying his "youthful
energy" was in tune with the energy of
emerging India .
"Obama represents youthful energy,
exuberant dynamism and a forward-looking
progressive mindset which is also the spirit
animating India," Abhishek Manu Singhvi,
spokesman for India 's Congress party, said.
Dalits see Obama
path worthy of emulation—6 Nov 2008—NEW
DELHI: With Barack Obama as its first Afro-American
President, the USA is celebrating the triumph of
diversity at the highest level. But for India, the race
to equality has still some miles to go. Nonetheless,
Dalit scholars see Obama's path worthy of emulation for
Columnist Chandrabhan Prasad points out that unlike many
Indian politicians, throughout the campaign Obama never
used the "identity" card. "He did not talk about his
identity as a black American. He just charted out
policies that will benefit all Americans, especially the
poor. Since blacks make up a sizeable section of the
poor, they will automatically benefit. But he hasn't
appealed to blacks as a single community," he said.
Prasad believes that Dalit leader Mayawati must stop
harping on the 'I'm a Dalit's beti' line if she wants to
make it any further.
D Shyam Babu of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation feels that
community-based politicians often get lost in the maze
of identity politics. "But identity need not be diluted.
This is when character comes in. Obama displayed the
temperament to represent a major political party."
That is the difference, feels human rights activist
Anandraj Teltumbde, between the US and India as well. "A
major political party has nominated him for presidency.
With a similar win, Mayawati will carry the burden of
the ruling class agenda as she does even now."
Prasad believes that Obama's win is revolutionary
because it will raise the self-esteem of the ordinary
Afro-American. "That apart there will be tremendous
moral pressure on India's caste order. And confidence
among Dalits will certainly get a healthy fillip," he
Babu cautions against reading too much into the US
election result. "Had Obama lost, would we have said the
US is full of racism?" he queries. That is Teltumbde's
opinion as well. For Whites it may be atonement for the
racial past but he wonders what the future holds for
common blacks in the US? "Will his presidency gloss over
the deep entrenched racial prejudice and damage the
cause of the blacks?," he asks.
That concern is palpable. Says Teltumbde, "Downtrodden
people like Dalits and blacks have to understand that
such victories just represent certain advances in their
development. Unless their movement is alive, there is a
high probability that their cause could be undermined by
such personal victories."
* * *
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president,
congratulated Obama on a "brilliant
victory." "I give
you my warmest congratulations and, through
me, those of all French people," Sarkozy
told the Democratic candidate in a letter
made public by the French presidency.
brilliant victory rewards a tireless
commitment to serve the American people. It
also crowns an exceptional campaign whose
inspiration and exaltation have proved to
the entire world the vitality of American
democracy. By choosing you, the American
people have chosen change, openness and
optimism," he wrote.
"At a time
when all of us must face huge challenges
together, your election raises great hope in
France , in Europe and elsewhere in the
* * *
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European
Comimission, applauded Obama's victory, with Barroso
calling for a "new deal".
"This is a time for
a renewed commitment between Europe and the United
States of America ," Barroso said in a statement. "We
need to change the current crisis into a new
opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world."
"I sincerely hope
that with the leadership of President Obama, the United
States of America will join forces with Europe to drive
this new deal. For the benefit of our societies, for the
benefit of the world."
* * *
Kgalema Motlanthe , South Africa 's president,
congratulated Obama on his presidential victory, saying
Africa "stood proud" and looked forward to a fruitful
"Your election ...
carries with it hope for millions of your countrymen and
women as much as it is for millions of people of ...
African descent both in the continent of Africa as well
as those in the diaspora," he said.
South Africa's first black leader, also congratualted
Obama, saying that Obama's election as US president
showed that anybody could dream to change the world.
"Your victory has
demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should
not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a
better place," Mandela wrote in a letter to Obama.
Mandela applauded Obama's commitment to support global
peace and said he trusted that combatting poverty and
disease would become the mission of Obama's presidency.
"We wish you
strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years
that lie ahead," said Mandela.
"We are sure you
will ultimately achieve your dream [of] making the
United States of America a full partner in a community
of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all."
* * *
Khartoum expressed hope that Obama's election win
would mean "real change" for the country's strained
relations with the US - America has branded Sundan as a
"state sponsor of terrorism".
"The result of the
election is a purely domestic affair, but certainly the
United States, being the only big power in the world, it
affects almost everything in other countries," said Ali
al-Sadiq, a spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry.
"We would hope that
the slogan of president Obama - 'change' - would be
reflected in the foreign policy in the United States ,
especially towards Sudan and oppressed countries, the
Palestinians, the Iraqis and the Somalis.
"We would like to
see some real change between Sudan and the United States
* * *
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the president of
transitional Somali government, voiced hope that Obama
would help end conflict in the world.
"I am congratulating Barack Obama for his election as
the president of United States of America ," Yusuf said
in a statement released by his spokesman.
"I am hopeful that
he will help end major crises in the world, particulary
the endless conflict in my country Somalia . This was an
historic election in which a proper leader was elected.
This is a great moment for America and Africa ."
* * *
Taro Aso, the Japanese prime
minister, offered his "heartfelt
congratulations" to Obama, pledging to work
with the new leader to strengthen relations.
would like to extend my heartfelt
congratulations to Senator Obama on his
election as President of United States of
America," Aso said in a statement.
strive to further strengthen the Japan-US
alliance and to resolve various challenges
the international community faces when
addressing issues such as the international
economy, terrorism and the environment."
* * *
Gloria Arroyo, the Philippines ' president,
congratulated Barack Obama for winning the US
"We wish to express
our profound congratulations to President-elect Barack
Obama for his historical and stellar win as the 44th
president of the United States," Lorelei Fajardo, a
spokesman for Arroyo, said in a statement.
"His call for
change opened a new phase in American politics, sparking
hope and inspiration not only for the American people
but the citizens of the world.
"America has always
been the bastion of democracy and the world has always
looked to the USA for direction. Obama has promised
change and the American people and the world await these
changes. We look forward to greater co-operation between
the USA and the Philippines , the Democrats have always
been good allies."
* * *
Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister,
praised Obama's victory saying it was a
testament to the strength of the US
democratic system and was a message of hope
not just for the United States but for the
"Twenty-five years ago Martin Luther King
[the US civil right activist] had a dream of
an America where men and women would be
judged not on the colour of their skin but
on the content of their character," Rudd
what America has done is turn that dream
into a reality. A world which is in many
respects fearful for its future."
* * *
Who among us is not at a loss for words? Tears pour out.
Tears of joy. Tears of relief. A stunning, whopping
landslide of hope in a time of deep despair.
In a nation that was founded on genocide and then built
on the backs of slaves, it was an unexpected moment,
shocking in its simplicity: Barack Obama, a good man, a
black man, said he would bring change to Washington, and
the majority of the country liked that idea. The racists
were present throughout the campaign and in the voting
booth. But they are no longer the majority, and we will
see their flame of hate fizzle out in our lifetime.
There was another important "first" last night. Never
before in our history has an avowed anti-war candidate
been elected president during a time of war. I hope
President-elect Obama remembers that as he considers
expanding the war in Afghanistan. The faith we now have
will be lost if he forgets the main issue on which he
beat his fellow Dems in the primaries and then a great
war hero in the general election: The people of America
are tired of war. Sick and tired. And their voice was
loud and clear yesterday.
It's been an inexcusable 44 years since a Democrat
running for president has received even just 51% of the
vote. That's because most Americans haven't really liked
the Democrats. They see them as rarely having the guts
to get the job done or stand up for the working people
they say they support. Well, here's their chance. It has
been handed to them, via the voting public, in the form
of a man who is not a party hack, not a set-for-life
Beltway bureaucrat. Will he now become one of them, or
will he force them to be more like him? We pray for the
But today we celebrate this triumph of decency over
personal attack, of peace over war, of intelligence over
a belief that Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs just
6,000 years ago. What will it be like to have a smart
president? Science, banished for eight years, will
return. Imagine supporting our country's greatest minds
as they seek to cure illness, discover new forms of
energy, and work to save the planet. I know, pinch me.
We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing
openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the
artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will
be explored in order to discover the greater truths.
When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what
followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody
Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson
Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media
asking me, "gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is
gone?" Are they kidding? What will it be like to work
and create in an environment that nurtures and supports
film and the arts, science and invention, and the
freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand
flowers bloom! We've entered a new era, and if I could
sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it
is this: Anything Is Possible.
An African American has been elected President of the
United States! Anything is possible! We can wrestle our
economy out of the hands of the reckless rich and return
it to the people. Anything is possible! Every citizen
can be guaranteed health care. Anything is possible! We
can stop melting the polar ice caps. Anything is
possible! Those who have committed war crimes will be
brought to justice. Anything is possible.
We really don't have much time. There is big work to do.
But this is the week for all of us to revel in this
great moment. Be humble about it. Do not treat the
Republicans in your life the way they have treated you
the past eight years. Show them the grace and goodness
that Barack Obama exuded throughout the campaign. Though
called every name in the book, he refused to lower
himself to the gutter and sling the mud back. Can we
follow his example? I know, it will be hard.
I want to thank everyone who gave of their time and
resources to make this victory happen. It's been a long
road, and huge damage has been done to this great
country, not to mention to many of you who have lost
your jobs, gone bankrupt from medical bills, or suffered
through a loved one being shipped off to Iraq. We will
now work to repair this damage, and it won't be easy.
But what a way to start! Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th
President of the United States. Wow. Seriously, wow.
* * *
Registering to Vote in Baton
I'm passing this on
to you, my special people. Renette at the Louisiana
Weekly wanted something for the paper and this is an
overnight (bleary eyed this a.m.) production. Since a
great many of you on this list are outside of New
Orleans, I wanted you in on it.
DO have a good weekend, especially you community
organizer types. (Smile):
When I was 19 (back
in 1962) I ran the voter registration office for the
NAACP in Baton Rouge. I walked South Baton Rouge, mid
city and areas known to Baton Rouge as the Lake and The
I remember one lady
whose name I remember as "Mrs. Williams" who was 84 at
the time and had never voted. They found reasons to
"fail" her twice with the added threat that, one more
failure would mean that she couldn't come back for
something like six months to a year. She wouldn't quit
and had me come back to her house and drill her on that
test over and over again until there was no way they
could stop her. I might also note that they would make
subtle changes on the "test" (actually a registration
form for whites, a test for Blacks). I went with her
and walked into the downstairs area thru a gauntlet of
deputy sheriffs who stepped back and stood against the
wall as she walked through. I remember her, head held
high, grim (Mary McLeod Bethune-like) expression on her
Every uniformed face in that hallway was mean and wanted
to be intimidating like at any moment they might attack
her... She epitomized cool and eldership and they
As I said, I was nineteen years old and not afraid to
die. I was dressed in a tie and jacket and, a la' Mike
Connor's on that television show Mannix, I had a .25
caliber in the small of my back. Fortunately, I didn't
have to pull and use it because, had it come to that
there would have been a memorable headline. I might
note that I was no longer enamored of nonviolence and
was getting closer to Malcolm X in terms of my defensive
philosophy. Plus, as a descendant of the "Shooting
Silers" I was responding in the manner of my father and
uncles who believed in self-defense.
She went into that
office, filled out that form and whatever spirit was
with her that day, pervaded the atmosphere and one of
the best moments in my life was when she stepped out of
that door and smiled.
She came to mind because, on my
last visit to Baton Rouge, I drove through where she had
lived and most of the houses were gone. She lived on
24th or 25th Street near Capitol High School.
Though I've gotten old and can't
remember if her real name was Williams, I do remember
that face. I remember Reverend Jelks being happy and my
other mentor Reverend Walker smiling when I told them
how she parted the Redneck Sea at the courthouse that
day. The NAACP Secretary, Pearl George, and I
celebrated at the office with a soda pop toast.
A lot has happened in 46+ years.
* * *
Acres: a poem for Barack Obama
By Derek Walcott
Out of the turmoil emerges one emblem, an
a young Negro at dawn in straw hat and
an emblem of impossible prophecy, a crowd
dividing like the furrow which a mule has
parting for their president: a field of
forty acres wide, of crows with predictable
that the young ploughman ignores for his
cotton-haired ancestors, while lined on one
court of bespectacled owls and, on the
receding rim —
a gesticulating scarecrow stamping with rage
The small plough continues on this lined
beyond the moaning ground, the lynching
tree, the tornado's
and the young ploughman feels the change in
heart, muscles, tendons,
till the land lies open like a flag as
light streaks the field
and furrows wait for the sower.
The West Indies poet Derek
Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for
* * *
Child of the Fifties Reflects on Obama’s Win
By Kam Williams
Africans were brought to America before the
Mayflower, blacks have never benefited from the same
blueblood status accorded the descendants of the
first Europeans to arrive on these shores. For while
the Declaration of Independence asserted that “All
Men Are Created Equal,” its hypocritical signers
only paid lip service to that lofty notion after
they won the Revolutionary War.
For, over the
very vocal objections of Quakers and other
dissenters who warned that the stain of slavery
would haunt the United States for generations to
come, the Founding Fathers opted to weave that evil
institution into the very fabric of the young
nation, going so far as to codify blacks 3/5ths
human by law under the sacrosanct Constitution.
over the intervening years, blacks caught nothing
but hell in this country, initially as property to
be bought and sold, even whipped or raped, at the
whim of their masters. When blacks appealed to the
Supreme Court for relief from the oppression, Chief
Justice Taney only damned them to further misery via
his Dred Scott
decision which legally declared blacks “beings of an
inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate
with the white race, either in social or political
relations, and so far inferior that they had no
rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
In spite of
Emancipation Proclamation, the freedmen would
find themselves betrayed by the federal government
when it reneged not only on the Reconstruction
promise of 40 acres and a mule but the guarantees of
due process and equal protection contained in the
recently-passed 14th Amendment. The end of the Civil
War also signaled the rise of the Ku Klux Klan whose
bloody reign of terror would mark an era of a
century of lynchings.
African-Americans patiently lobbied the courts for
civil rights, but found the road to justice blocked
by the bigoted double-speak of
Ferguson and other rulings allowing for
“separate but equal” treatment. Such rulings only
further emboldened segregationists who strategically
proceeded to pass cruel Jim Crow laws designed to
condemn blacks permanently to a state-sanctioned
As someone who
spent his formative years in the Fifties frustrated
by my mother’s having to explain that I couldn’t go
to this amusement park or that swimming pool because
“colored” weren’t allowed there, I remember like it
was yesterday watching televised news broadcasts of
my heroes being knocked over by fire hoses and
attacked by police dogs simply for trying to
register to vote.
So, excuse me
for being moved to tears by Barack Obama’s historic
Presidential victory, as I reflect upon the endless
struggles and sacrifices a spiritually-resolute
people have made over the ages en route to this
glorious, historic moment.
Lloyd Kam Williams is a film critic,
attorney and a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US
Supreme Court bars.
* * *
Obama family's activities in the
courtyard quickly drew the attention of
schoolchildren whose windows overlooked
the courtyard. They put up a sign
against the glass that read: "We love
our prez" and screamed when the
president-elect waved to them.
* * *
Never a Priority
A Black Agenda Radio
commentary by Glen Ford
President-elect Barack Obama says
he'll put the interests of "Main Street" above those
of Wall Street, in tackling the economic crisis. It
is appropriate that we ask, Which Main Street is he
talking about? It has been a very long time since
the main streets of Black America were assigned any
priority in terms of unemployment relief. Clearly,
the criteria for government intervention in the
economy is color-coded, rather than based on
objective measurements of social and economic
distress. On Black Main Streets, for at least two
generations unemployment has consistently registered
at least twice as high as on white Main Streets. The
two-to-one racial ratio holds true in good times and
in bad, as if it were a law of modern American
economic life. Therefore, by any comparative
analysis, African Americans are ALWAYS in a state of
Yet, Black unemployment levels
are almost never considered to be intolerable—that
is, a problem of such magnitude it demands fixing.
The one exception—the period in which Black
unemployment, especially Black youth unemployment,
rated a national priority— was during the Sixties,
when cities burned.
The unfolding economic collapse
promises to disproportionately harm those who are
already most damaged by racial employment structures
in the United States. Officially, Black joblessness
in October stood at 11.1 percent, compared to 5.9
percent for whites, 8.8 percent for Hispanics and
less than four percent for Asians. But it has long
been apparent that the federal government's methods
for counting the unemployed vastly underestimate
joblessness, especially in Black America.
In 2003, during the last
recession, a survey that measured the
employment/population ratio showed that only
slightly more than half of Black males between the
ages of 16 and 65 in New York City, held jobs,
although the official Black unemployment rate was
just under 13 percent. The difference between 13
percent and 49 percent of Black males being outside
the official labor force is the difference between a
community that is gravely challenged by joblessness,
and one that has been crushed by it.
Measuring the percentage of
people who are inside, or outside, the official
labor force provides a much better picture of that
community's actual relationship to the larger
economy and society. It shows us where the real,
structural problems are, the places where extended
unemployment benefits make only marginal differences
because large proportions of people have not been
working on the books for a very long time, or have
never had an effective chance to enter the official
Economic downturns are
especially damaging to the employment prospects of
Black youth, who then wind up in the million-strong
African American prison gulag—a cohort that is not
counted among the officially unemployed. These young
men, and increasing numbers of young women, join the
ranks of the permanently marginalized, who literally
do not count in public policy discussions outside
the arena of criminal justice or other projects of
repression or removal.
A public policy that
systematically papers over the actual employment
patterns of the inner city, cannot even begin to
tackle unemployment on Black Main Street.
* * *
told reporters that he wants the girls
"to learn the importance of how
fortunate they are, and to make sure
they're giving back." The soon-to-be
first lady said the Obamas wanted to
give their children "an understanding of
what giving and Thanksgiving is all
* * *
Drum Roll/New Sheriff In Town
By Ted Wilson
Words roll out with the distinct
of notes from Miles Porgy and Bess
and the loveliness of Flamenco Sketches
at a speed matched with a force only
Muhammad Ali could deliver
There’s a new Sheriff in town bringing
with the melodic sweetness of Coltrane’s
making sense to all who know and don’t
or didn’t want to
slick as Bird with the rhythm of Max
Ron Carter Hancock and
Horace with the silver glimmering in his
smooooth silk tie
There’s a new Sheriff in town
inspiring bringing new life
into a new way like be bop did
punctuated by hard bop
giving birth to and propagating
twenty-first century hip hop
spoken through Jay Z and Will I Am
saying yes I will can
and shall do
There’s a new Sheriff bringing new hope
to new life
in a way not quite seen for a long long
bolstered by a soulful mama giving a
soulful view through
touch and feel that a queen brings
All hail Barack Obama Let the music
Remember! Reparations is serious
and stands as the
title of this new play
* * *
Malia and 7-year-old Sasha joined
their parents to shake hands and
give holiday wishes to hundreds of
people who had been lined up for
hours at the food bank on Chicago 's
* * *
Obama The 44th President
A few days
ago, I was driving along a busy Atlanta
thoroughfare when my car’s transmission
experienced a major malfunction. I feared that
if I didn’t act quickly, this might be the last
stand for my beloved “Black Betty the Cool
Whip”. I hated the idea of having to go to the
first mechanic that I saw, but sometimes you
just don’t have much of a choice if you want to
get a job done. In this case, I didn’t have the
luxury of searching for somebody that might be
more to my liking.
walked into the shop, the rubenesque, red-faced
garage proprietor was engaged in a highly
spirited phone conversation that went something
you heard about them new O-bama Christmas tree
ornaments????....” He said.
from the person on the other end of the phone
propelled the garage owner into uproarious
don’t know nothin’ about that….” He replied. “….Looka
here, I gotta customer in front of me….” He
stated as he continued to laugh while hanging up
I have no
doubt that the jubilation that he displayed at
his friends response to his inquiry was
indicative of the great pride that they both
derived from being able to proudly hang the
image of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the
United States of America, high atop their
respective Georgia pine trees this holiday
season. He then turned his attention to me, in
order to give his undivided and respectful
consideration to my concerns, without regard to
race, creed, color or national origin.
Shake Speare Chucker
O is for the Optimism that you’ve
inspired in both old foe and dear
B is for the Battles for truth and
justice that you’ve yet to wage or
A is for the American people, who
can be both false friend and fickled
M is for Mrs. Michelle, may she
continue to stand side by side with
A is for
All of Us working together, if true
change is to sweep across the land
* * *
posted 6 November 2008
* * *
* * *
The Persistence of the Color Line
Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency
By Randall Kennedy
Among the best things about
The Persistence of the Color Line
is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the
positions about Mr. Obama staked out by
black commentators on the left and
right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel
West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley.
He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr.
Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism
regarding whether blacks should back
Obama” . . . The
finest chapter in
The Persistence of the Color Line
is so resonant, and so personal, it
could nearly be the basis for a book of
its own. That chapter is titled
“Reverend Wright and My Father:
Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”
Recalling some of the criticisms of
America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s
former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with
feeling about his own father, who put
each of his three of his children
through Princeton but who “never forgave
American society for its racist
mistreatment of him and those whom he
most loved.” His father distrusted
the police, who had frequently called
him “boy,” and rejected patriotism.
* * * *
The Last Holiday: A Memoir
By Gil Scott Heron
Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Jamie Byng, Guardian
Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio) / Gil Scott-Heron
& His Music Gil Scott
Heron Blue Collar
Remember Gil Scott- Heron
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
* * * * *
Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
* * * * *
* * * *
(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
update 5 March 2012