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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 sky

A thrilling new moment that captures the end of an old order of rancorous dislike



Responses to Barack Obama Winning

The Presidency of the United States of America


Well Rudy,

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 you.Wilson (10/5)

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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)

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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 tears.Keenan


Obama's step grandmother

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Congratulation on 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 Jakarta, Indonesia


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The 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 sky

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 Kenyan griot

Stands tall and proclaims that we are all nation – no black or brown or white or yellow

That all nations are all one people, one God-ordained rainbow world, and we all can be,

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 again


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

Transformational, Transgenerational, 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, 2008

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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 bin.

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 King Farris

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How about dem apples my friend?  Glorious moment in my life and I feel invigorated!—Peggy Bertram

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I'm still full and overwhelmed.  What a wonderful wonderful time to experience. Red Beans Luv, Mona Lisa 

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Poems for Barack

1.  We’ve been fighting


Fighting, fighting

For freedom

Since Virginia’s first Black backs

Went from indentured servants

To slaves overnight

We’ve been fighting

Fighting, 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 equality

To say no to fear and yes to faith in tomorrow

Thank you all.  God bless America.                       


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 more shock?

I cried, cried, cried again, big ballooka tears raining down

My face, clogging my nose, my eyes leaked until

Words escaped me, until joy covered me in a

Blanket of tears and rain, tears erasing doubt,

Tears writing hope across my cheeks, streaked,

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 catchers

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 realize

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, pinch me.

(c) 2008 Mona Lisa Saloy, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Dearly beloved!

 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

 read about 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, too.

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.

Historically 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 formidable challenge.

    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 . . .

Harlem, New York

Sobs and tears were my ancestors' bread too many times to count. Covenanters hunted down and killed in Scottish lowland forests by the Tories,    


Cherokee whose 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 been watered;

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from our gloomy past, till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast. (JW Johnson, 1921) 

Ralph Garlin Clingan

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"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.  

Phoenix, Arizona

("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 this,

       I give thanks."                                      OBAMA PRAYER  March 8, 2008

       "The rest will be revealed."  Percy L. Drake (1912-2001)

Jeannette Drake

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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, Marta]

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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 understand, completely.

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,
Alice Walker

Source: TheRoot

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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. TimesOnline

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Dear Rudy,

Barack Obama 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 - guitar 
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,

Ralph, Schaeffer - violin, Sidney Sharp - violin, Darrel Terwilliger - violin,

David Wells - trombone, Clif White - violin
Tibor Zelig - violin

Album: Keep Movin' On - Sam Cooke  Abkco # 18771-3563-2 (2001)

A Change is Gonna Come 

                          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 livin'
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 my brother
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.


"Society's Child"

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


Society's Child (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, baby,
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 remain.

I say I can't see you anymore baby,
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

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Obama's kin in Kenya

From 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.

The Cuban 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.

After expressing 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 state.

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. ABC

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Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, congratulated Obama on his US election victory, saying it took the world into a "new era".

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 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 everybody.

"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."

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Descendants of 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 winning.

"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. Yahoo

*   *   *   *   *


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 Obama.

"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 in Pakistan.

*   *   *   *   *

Palestinian Territories    

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, congratulated Obama and urged him to speed up efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

"President Abbas 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.

"President Abbas 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 spokesman.  

"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.

"Israelis congratulate the two great friends of Israel , John McCain for his great campaign, Barack Obama for his historic victory.

"We are certain that Israeli-American friendship faces a bright future."  Jerusalem, Israel

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.

"The relationship 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 2008NEW 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 Dalit politicians.

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 says.

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." TimesofIndia

*   *   *   *   *


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.

"Your 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 world."

Paris, France

*   *   *   *   *

The European Union    

 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."

*   *   *   *   *

South Africa    

Kgalema Motlanthe , South Africa 's president, congratulated Obama on his presidential victory, saying Africa "stood proud" and looked forward to a fruitful working relationship.

"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.

Nelson Mandela, 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.

The 90-year-old 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.

"I 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.

"I will 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."


  *   *   *   *   *

The Philippines    

Gloria Arroyo, the Philippines ' president, congratulated Barack Obama for winning the US presidential election.

"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 whole world.

"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 told said.

"Today what America has done is turn that dream into a reality. A world which is in many respects fearful for its future."

Sidney, Australia

*   *   *   *   *

A Message from Michael Moore

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 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.

Michael Moore

*   *   *   *   *

Registering to Vote in Baton Rouge


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 Park.

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 face.
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 stepped aside.

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. Chuck

*   *   *   *   *

Forty Acres: a poem for Barack Obama

                                              By Derek Walcott


Out of the turmoil emerges one emblem, an engraving —

a young Negro at dawn in straw hat and overalls,

an emblem of impossible prophecy, a crowd

dividing like the furrow which a mule has ploughed,

parting for their president: a field of snow-flecked


forty acres wide, of crows with predictable omens

that the young ploughman ignores for his unforgotten

cotton-haired ancestors, while lined on one branch, is

a tense

court of bespectacled owls and, on the field's

receding rim —

a gesticulating scarecrow stamping with rage at him.

The small plough continues on this lined page

beyond the moaning ground, the lynching tree, the tornado's

black vengeance,

and the young ploughman feels the change in his veins,

heart, muscles, tendons,

till the land lies open like a flag as dawn's sure

light streaks the field and furrows wait for the sower.

Source: TimesOnLine

The West Indies poet Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature

*   *   *   *   *

            A Child of the Fifties Reflects on Obama’s Win

By Kam Williams


Although 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.

Consequently, 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 President Lincoln’s 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.

Meanwhile, African-Americans patiently lobbied the courts for civil rights, but found the road to justice blocked by the bigoted double-speak of Plessy vs. 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 second-class.

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.

*   *   *   *   *


The 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.


*   *   *   *   *

Black Joblessness: 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 employment crisis.

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 work force.

 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. BlackAgendaReport

*   *   *   *   *

He 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 about."

*   *   *   *   *

Drum Roll/New Sheriff In Town


                                               By Ted Wilson


Words roll out with the distinct deliberateness

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 forth lines

with the melodic sweetness of Coltrane’s notes

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 while

bolstered by a soulful mama giving a soulful view through

touch and feel that a queen brings


All hail Barack Obama   Let the music play and

Remember! Reparations is serious business

and stands as the title of this new play      


*   *   *   *   *


Ten-year-old 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 south side.

*   *   *   *   *

Barack Obama The 44th President‏

By Vince Rogers


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.  

When I walked into the shop, the rubenesque, red-faced garage proprietor was engaged in a highly spirited phone conversation that went something like this:

“….I know you heard about them new O-bama Christmas tree ornaments????....” He said.

The reply from the person on the other end of the phone propelled the garage owner into uproarious laughter.

“….Well I 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 the phone.

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.


             By Shake Speare Chucker


O is for the Optimism that you’ve inspired in both old foe and dear friend

B is for the Battles for truth and justice that you’ve yet to wage or win

A is for the American people, who can be both false friend and fickled fan

M is for Mrs. Michelle, may she continue to stand side by side with her man

A is for All of Us working together, if true change is to sweep across the land

*   *   *   *   *

posted 6 November 2008

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#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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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.

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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

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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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 Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 5 March 2012




Home  Obama 2008 Table

Related files:  Dear Michelle Letters  Obligation to Fight for the World as It Should Be   The Crossings  Wilson's Obama Poem  

Why White America Perhaps Fears Michelle More Than Barack   Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady (book)