Barack’s step-grandmother Sarah Obama in Kogelo , Kenya
At Obama’s former school in Jakarta , Indonesia
Athens , Greece
Jakarta , Indones
Sydney , Australia
Obama , Japan
Here is a place to share your thoughts and feelings
In response to Obama’s election.
Click on the link, share your thoughts,
Sign your name, click on save.
You’ve wiki’d for the generations!
In it he also sends out a supportive message to international delegates for their forthcoming talks in Poland (which George Bush had refused to attend). This came our way from urban agrarians in London!
Would anyone wish to help some Faith Communities in
The old neighborhoods of Milwaukee, Detroit, and New Orleans,
Develop victory home gardens and school or church community gardens?
The Obama presidency will be all the better if
The Obama Movement inspires an urban agriculture awakening,
Including a White House Organic Food Garden
And a visit to Will Allen’s Growing Power Milwaukee
By the entire Obama Family!
Contact email@example.com if interested.
Check out GrowingPower to learn more about urban agriculture.
Like many great orations, Barack Obama’s victory speech on Tuesday night was deceptively simple. As powerful as it was to hear, the hidden complexities and import of the president-elect’s words surface only after we re-read the text and think back on the moment.
A confirmed fan of Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Obama drew on another flawless speech, the Gettysburg Address (pdf) (“a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from the earth”), while also celebrating both the inherited majesty of the Democratic process and his own achievement — the broad coalition that elected him.
He echoed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ( “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice’’) when he praised the electorate for rejecting the rhetoric of fear and for “ put[ting] their hands on the arc of history and bend[ing] it once more toward the hope of a better day.’’
But this remarkable speaker had more on his mind than classical citations. Woven through his address was nothing less than an attempt to broaden the meaning of America’s founding documents - and its living democracy - by expanding the list of the people who come to mind when Americans think of “the Founders.’’
This mission is evident in the opening stanza:
By this he meant to include the many men and women — Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King — who have worked and sometimes died in the fight to extend the full rights of citizenship to people (African-American and female) who were initially denied them. He implicitly credited these women’s rights and civil rights giants with working to create a more perfect union.
In other words, he was including the white fathers — but not only them.
The speech recognized Thomas Jefferson and the framers of the Constitution. It leaned heavily on Lincoln, who orchestrated a second founding by reuniting a sundered nation through the Civil War and pointing the country toward the abolition of slavery.
Still, Mr. Obama knows full well that neither Jefferson nor Lincoln ever “dreamed” of an America in which a person of African descent would ascend to the highest office in the land.
Jefferson, like many of his most influential contemporaries, hewed to the idea that black people would be forever set apart from their fellow citizens. Had it been in his power, black slaves would have been trained, set free, and sent to live apart in Africa or the West Indies.
Virginians took this notion seriously. Seven years after Jefferson’s death, for example, the state legislature conducted a special census to determine if free people of color would agree to leave the state and be resettled in Africa. Among the Negroes who declined to go were Jefferson’s long-time slave and lover Sally Hemings and Jefferson’s two Negro sons, Madison and Eston Hemings.
Paradoxically, Sally, Madison and Eston Hemings had more white than black ancestry — and had actually been counted as free white people in a previous census. But like many people of color in that period, they found that membership in the majority was tenuous and easily revoked. Leaving Virginia for Ohio after their mother’s death, Madison and Eston found their rights as citizens increasingly curtailed.
Lincoln, too, believed in colonization. Speaking to a group of black dignitaries in 1862, he argued that blacks and whites could never live together harmoniously and said: “If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.’’ He argued for colonization in a preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation, which began circulating that same year. But the passage was dropped from the final version after Lincoln failed to find political support for it.
The proclamation was a tactical military document, forged in heat of the Civil War, that was intended to improve the Union’s chance of winning. It ended slavery in the states that were in rebellion, while preserving it the border states that had sided with the Union and other areas that were under Union control. Even so, the final document (pdf) allowed that emancipation was “an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution.’’
Slavery was abolished with the ratification of 13th Amendment in 1865. But it took another 100 years — and more work by a subsequent set of Founders — before black Americans and women could fully claim the rights articulated in the founding documents.
That claim had yet to be fully exercised in the summer of 1963, when Dr. King delivered the “I Have a Dream Speech” at the March On Washington.
As Dr. King said at the time:
Some listeners heard hints of grandiosity in Mr. Obama’s assertion that this election proved that “the dream of our Founders is alive in our time.’’ But he was clearly referring to the founding ideals as they were improved upon and transfused through subsequent generations of founders who, like King, worked toward the “more perfect union” that Lincoln himself had talked about.
Mr. Obama’s moment would not have been possible without the interventions of those latter-day founders.
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Today we celebrate the triumph of intelligence over a belief that Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs just 6,000 years ago.
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 percent 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 latter.
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.
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By Peggy Wallace Kennedy
Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Peggy Wallace Kennedy is the daughter of George C. Wallace and Lurleen Wallace, who both were governors of Alabama. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband, Mark Kennedy, a retired state Supreme Court justice. They have two sons, Leigh, a decorated veteran of the Iraq war, and Burns, a college sophomore.
Peggy Wallace Kennedy says her father sought absolution for his segregationist views.
MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) — I heard a car door slam behind me and turned to see an elderly but spry woman heading my way.
The night before, a gang of vandals had swept through the cemetery desecrating graves, crushing headstones and stealing funereal objects.
My parents’ graves, situated on a wind-swept hill overlooking the cemetery, had not been spared. A large marble urn that stood between two granite columns had been pried loose and spirited away, leaving faded silk flowers strewn on the ground.
I was holding a bouquet of them in my arms when the woman walked up and gave me a crushing hug. “Honey,” she said, “you don’t know me, but when I saw you standing up here on this hill, I knew that you must be one of the girls and I couldn’t help myself but to drive up here and let you know how much me and my whole family loved both of your parents. They were real special people.”
I thanked her for her kind words as we stood side by side gazing down at the graves of Govs. George Wallace and Lurleen Wallace.
After a few moments, the woman leaned into me and spoke almost in a conspiratorial whisper. “I never thought I would live to see the day when a black would be running for president. I know your daddy must be rolling over in his grave.”
Not having the heart or the energy to respond, I gave her bony arm a slight squeeze, turned and walked away. As I put the remnants of the graveyard spray in the trunk of my car, I assumed that she had not bothered to notice the Barack Obama sticker on my bumper.
When I was a young voter and had little interest in politics, my father would mark my ballot for me. As I thought about the woman in the cemetery, I mused that if he were alive and I had made the same request for this election, there would be a substantial chance, though not a certainty, that he would put an “X” by Obama’s name.
Perhaps it would be the last chapter in his search for inner peace that became so important to him after becoming a victim of hatred and violence himself when he was shot and gravely injured in a Laurel, Maryland, shopping center parking lot. Perhaps it would be a way of reconciling in his own mind that what he once stood for did not prevent freedom of opportunity and self-advancement from coming full circle; his final absolution.
George Wallace and other Southern governors of his ilk stood defiantly in the 1950s and ‘60s in support of racial segregation, a culture of repression, violence and denial of basic human rights.
Their actions and the stark images of their consequences that spread across the world galvanized the nation and gave rise to a cry for an end to the American apartheid. The firestorms that were lit in Birmingham, Oxford, Memphis, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Little Rock and Selma were a call to arms to which the people responded.
And now a new call to arms has sounded as Americans face another assault on freedom. For if the stand in the schoolhouse door was a defining moment for George Wallace, then surely the aftermath of Katrina and the invasion of Iraq will be the same for George W. Bush.
The trampling of individual freedoms and his blatant contempt for the rights of the average American may not have been as obvious as an ax-handle-wielding governor, but Bush’s insidiousness and piety have made him much more dangerous.
Healing must come, hope will be our lodestar, humility will reshape the American conscience, and honesty in both word and deed will refresh and invigorate America, and having Barack Obama to lead will give us back our power to heal.
My father lived long enough to come to an understanding of the injustices borne by his deeds and the legacy of suffering that they left behind. History will teach future generations that he was a man who used his political power to promote a philosophy of exclusion.
As his daughter, who witnessed his suffering in the twilight of his years and who witnessed his deeds and heard his words, I am one who believes that the man who, on March 7, 1965, listened to the reports of brutality as they streamed into the Governor’s Mansion from Selma, Alabama, was not the same man who, in March of 1995, was welcomed with open arms as he was rolled through a sea of African-American men, women and children who gathered with him to welcome another generation of marchers, retracing in honor and remembrance the historic steps from Selma to Montgomery.
Four years ago, the young Illinois senator who spoke at the Democratic National Convention mesmerized me. I hoped even then that he would one day be my president.
Today, Barack Obama is hope for a better tomorrow for all Americans. He stands on the shoulders of all those people who have incessantly prayed for a day when “justice will run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24).
Perhaps one day, my two sons and I will have the opportunity to meet Barack Obama in person to express our gratitude to him for bringing our family full circle.
And today, the day after the election, I am going to ride to the cemetery so that if asked, I can vouch for the fact that the world is still spinning but my father lies at peace.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Peggy Wallace Kennedy.
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I walk through the school doors,
get in a long line, confirm my registration
with an election worker, slowly move
down the stairs, pausing on each step,
(the whole world holds its breath),
speaking with my friend David, behind me,
turn the corner on the landing,
greet an occasional friend exiting,
(the whole world holds its breath),
slowly move forward, little-by-little,
flashing back over the past eight endless years of
(the whole world holds its breath),
then enter the basement, with voting ‘stations’
lining the south wall, examine a sample ballot,
noticing the dynamic energy in the room,
(the whole world holds its breath),
listen to instructions from a poll worker,
watch a young mother playing with her son,
eventually arrive at the front of the line,
(the whole world holds its breath),
give my name and address to the woman at the desk,
get my ballot, go to the voting cubicle,
(the whole world holds its breath),
and use the pencil provided to add my hope
to that of people all over the planet that
by Harvey Taylor
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Here is a sight that captures some of weeping tears of joy.
Look. America is now ready to listen to
Papa Walt, Obama’s and…your…
Song of Myself
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and
their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are
crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.
The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.
The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread,
crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the
passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and
dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the
eddies of the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the
fields and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full- noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.
Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d
the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.
Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.
Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always
substance and increase, always sex,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed
To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.
Here are some of the best pictures from that great day and inspired effort to win Indiana for the Obama presidential campaign.
|Forest and Organizers’ Hosts||Organizers|
|From Brookyn and Chicago to Valparaiso Canvassing Sunday||Gearing up to Hit the Doors|
|Megan Godsil Jeyifo Studying Canvassing Rules||Obama Trainers Teach Proper Canvassing|
|Listening to Forest Talk the Talk||Forest and Rachel Doing the Doors|
|James Godsil, Forest, and Rachel Godsil Canvassing||Meeting Valparaiso Obama Heavy Lifters|
|Thrilled to Work for Obama’s Indiana Victory||Forest at Obama Office With Workers Soon to be Named|
|Rachel Godsil With Obama Workers Soon to be Named||Megan Godsil Jeyifo and Best Friend Aziza Turning in Canvasing Results|
|Forest and Obama Supporter Soon to be Named||Megan Godsil Jeyifo and Rachel Godsil Back in Chicago With OK Jeyifo|