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In the end, what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American Dream.

Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before us. When faced

with crisis, we did not shrink from our challengewe overcame it. We did not avoid our responsibility

we embraced it. We did not fear our futurewe shaped it.

 

   

Books by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance  / The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Obama's Greatest Speeches (CD set)

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This is What Change Looks Like

Speech by President Barack Obama

22 March  2010

After a historic vote in the House to send health reform to the President, he speaks to all

Americans on the change they will finally see as they are given back control over their own health care

 

Good evening, everybody. Tonight, after nearly 100 years of talk and frustration, after decades of trying, and a year of sustained effort and debate, the United States Congress finally declared that America’s workers and America's families and America's small businesses deserve the security of knowing that here, in this country, neither illness nor accident should endanger the dreams they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve.

Tonight, at a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics. We pushed back on the undue influence of special interests. We didn't give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges. We proved that this governmenta government of the people and by the peoplestill works for the people.

I want to thank every member of Congress who stood up tonight with courage and conviction to make health care reform a reality. And I know this wasn’t an easy vote for a lot of people. But it was the right vote. I want to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her extraordinary leadership, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn for their commitment to getting the job done. I want to thank my outstanding Vice President, Joe Biden, and my wonderful Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, for their fantastic work on this issue. I want to thank the many staffers in Congress, and my own incredible staff in the White House, who have worked tirelessly over the past year with Americans of all walks of life to forge a reform package finally worthy of the people we were sent here to serve.

Today’s vote answers the dreams of so many who have fought for this reform. To every unsung American who took the time to sit down and write a letter or type out an e-mail hoping your voice would be heardit has been heard tonight. To the untold numbers who knocked on doors and made phone calls, who organized and mobilized out of a firm conviction that change in this country comes not from the top down, but from the bottom uplet me reaffirm that conviction: This moment is possible because of you.

Most importantly, today’s vote answers the prayers of every American who has hoped deeply for something to be done about a health care system that works for insurance companies, but not for ordinary people. For most Americans, this debate has never been about abstractions, the fight between right and left, Republican and Democratit’s always been about something far more personal. It’s about every American who knows the shock of opening an envelope to see that their premiums just shot up again when times are already tough enough. It’s about every parent who knows the desperation of trying to cover a child with a chronic illness only to be told “no” again and again and again. It’s about every small business owner forced to choose between insuring employees and staying open for business. They are why we committed ourselves to this cause.

Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one partyit's a victory for them. It's a victory for the American people. And it's a victory for common sense.

Now, it probably goes without saying that tonight’s vote will give rise to a frenzy of instant analysis. There will be tallies of Washington winners and losers, predictions about what it means for Democrats and Republicans, for my poll numbers, for my administration. But long after the debate fades away and the prognostication fades away and the dust settles, what will remain standing is not the government-run system some feared, or the status quo that serves the interests of the insurance industry, but a health care system that incorporates ideas from both partiesa system that works better for the American people.

If you have health insurance, this reform just gave you more control by reining in the worst excesses and abuses of the insurance industry with some of the toughest consumer protections this country has ever knownso that you are actually getting what you pay for.

If you don’t have insurance, this reform gives you a chance to be a part of a big purchasing pool that will give you choice and competition and cheaper prices for insurance. And it includes the largest health care tax cut for working families and small businesses in historyso that if you lose your job and you change jobs, start that new business, you’ll finally be able to purchase quality, affordable care and the security and peace of mind that comes with it.

This reform is the right thing to do for our seniors. It makes Medicare stronger and more solvent, extending its life by almost a decade. And it’s the right thing to do for our future. It will reduce our deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade, and more than $1 trillion in the decade after that.

So this isn’t radical reform. But it is major reform. This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system. But it moves us decisively in the right direction. This is what change looks like.

Now as momentous as this day is, it's not the end of this journey. On Tuesday, the Senate will take up revisions to this legislation that the House has embraced, and these are revisions that have strengthened this law and removed provisions that had no place in it. Some have predicted another siege of parliamentary maneuvering in order to delay adoption of these improvements. I hope that’s not the case. It’s time to bring this debate to a close and begin the hard work of implementing this reform properly on behalf of the American people. This year, and in years to come, we have a solemn responsibility to do it right.

Nor does this day represent the end of the work that faces our country. The work of revitalizing our economy goes on. The work of promoting private sector job creation goes on. The work of putting American families’ dreams back within reach goes on. And we march on, with renewed confidence, energized by this victory on their behalf.

In the end, what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American Dream. Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before us. When faced with crisis, we did not shrink from our challengewe overcame it. We did not avoid our responsibilitywe embraced it. We did not fear our futurewe shaped it.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.  Whitehouse.gov Blog

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Remarks by President Barack Obama

at Signing of the Health Insurance Reform Bill

 

East Room, 23, March 2010

Today, after almost a century of trying; today, after over a year of debate; today, after all the votes have been tallied—health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America.  Today.

It is fitting that Congress passed this historic legislation this week.  For as we mark the turning of spring, we also mark a new season in America.  In a few moments, when I sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform. 

And while the Senate still has a last round of improvements to make on this historic legislation—and these are improvements I’m confident they will make swiftly—the bill I’m signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for, and marched for, and hungered to see.

It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms, because we need to implement them responsibly.  We need to get this right.  But a host of desperately needed reforms will take effect right away. 

This year, we’ll start offering tax credits to about 4 million small businessmen and women to help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees.  That happens this year.

This year, tens of thousands of uninsured Americans with preexisting conditions, the parents of children who have a preexisting condition, will finally be able to purchase the coverage they need.  That happens this year. 

This year, insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people’s coverage when they get sick.  They won’t be able to place lifetime limits or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care they can receive. 

This year, all new insurance plans will be required to offer free preventive care.  And this year, young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ policies until they’re 26 years old.  That happens this year. 

And this year, seniors who fall in the coverage gap known as the doughnut hole will start getting some help.  They’ll receive $250 to help pay for prescriptions, and that will, over time, fill in the doughnut hole.  And I want seniors to know, despite what some have said, these reforms will not cut your guaranteed benefits.  In fact, under this law, Americans on Medicare will receive free preventive care without co-payments or deductibles.  That begins this year. 

Once this reform is implemented, health insurance exchanges will be created, a competitive marketplace where uninsured people and small businesses will finally be able to purchase affordable, quality insurance.  They will be able to be part of a big pool and get the same good deal that members of Congress get.  That’s what’s going to happen under this reform.  And when this exchange is up and running, millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.   That's what this reform is about. 

This legislation will also lower costs for families and for businesses and for the federal government, reducing our deficit by over $1 trillion in the next two decades.  It is paid for.  It is fiscally responsible.  And it will help lift a decades-long drag on our economy.  That's part of what all of you together worked on and made happen. 

That our generation is able to succeed in passing this reform is a testament to the persistence—and the character—of the American people, who championed this cause; who mobilized; who organized; who believed that people who love this country can change it.

It’s also a testament to the historic leadership—and uncommon courage—of the men and women of the United States Congress, who’ve taken their lumps during this difficult debate.

You know, there are few tougher jobs in politics or government than leading one of our legislative chambers.  In each chamber, there are men and women who come from different places and face different pressures, who reach different conclusions about the same things and feel deeply concerned about different things.

By necessity, leaders have to speak to those different concerns.  It isn’t always tidy; it is almost never easy.  But perhaps the greatest—and most difficult—challenge is to cobble together out of those differences the sense of common interest and common purpose that’s required to advance the dreams of all people -- especially in a country as large and diverse as ours.

And we are blessed by leaders in each chamber who not only do their jobs very well but who never lost sight of that larger mission.  They didn’t play for the short term; they didn’t play to the polls or to politics:  One of the best speakers the House of Representatives has ever had, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

One of the best majority leaders the Senate has ever had, Mr. Harry Reid. 

To all of the terrific committee chairs, all the members of Congress who did what was difficult, but did what was right, and passed health care reform—not just this generation of Americans will thank you, but the next generation of Americans will thank you. 

And of course, this victory was also made possible by the painstaking work of members of this administration, including our outstanding Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius—and one of the unsung heroes of this effort, an extraordinary woman who led the reform effort from the White House, Nancy-Ann DeParle.  Where’s Nancy? 

Today, I’m signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.

I’m signing it for Ryan Smith, who’s here today.  He runs a small business with five employees.  He’s trying to do the right thing, paying half the cost of coverage for his workers.  This bill will help him afford that coverage.

I’m signing it for 11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who’s also here.  Marcelas lost his mom to an illness.  And she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the care that she needed.  So in her memory he has told her story across America so that no other children have to go through what his family has experienced. 

I’m signing it for Natoma Canfield.  Natoma had to give up her health coverage after her rates were jacked up by more than 40 percent.  She was terrified that an illness would mean she’d lose the house that her parents built, so she gave up her insurance.  Now she’s lying in a hospital bed, as we speak, faced with just such an illness, praying that she can somehow afford to get well without insurance.  Natoma’s family is here today because Natoma can’t be.  And her sister Connie is here.  Connie, stand up. 

I’m signing this bill for all the leaders who took up this cause through the generations—from Teddy Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt, from Harry Truman, to Lyndon Johnson, from Bill and Hillary Clinton, to one of the deans who’s been fighting this so long, John Dingell.  To Senator Ted Kennedy.  And it’s fitting that Ted’s widow, Vicki, is here—it’s fitting that Teddy’s widow, Vicki, is here; and his niece Caroline; his son Patrick, whose vote helped make this reform a reality. 

I remember seeing Ted walk through that door in a summit in this room a year ago—one of his last public appearances.  And it was hard for him to make it.  But he was confident that we would do the right thing.

Our presence here today is remarkable and improbable.  With all the punditry, all of the lobbying, all of the game-playing that passes for governing in Washington, it’s been easy at times to doubt our ability to do such a big thing, such a complicated thing; to wonder if there are limits to what we, as a people, can still achieve.  It’s easy to succumb to the sense of cynicism about what’s possible in this country.

But today, we are affirming that essential truth—a truth every generation is called to rediscover for itself—that we are not a nation that scales back its aspirations.  We are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust.  We don't fall prey to fear.  We are not a nation that does what’s easy.  That’s not who we are.  That’s not how we got here.

We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities.  We are a nation that does what is hard.  What is necessary.  What is right.  Here, in this country, we shape our own destiny.  That is what we do.  That is who we are.  That is what makes us the United States of America. 

And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.  And it is an extraordinary achievement that has happened because of all of you and all the advocates all across the country.

So, thank you.  Thank you.  God bless you, and may God bless the United States.  Thank you.  Thank you.

All right, I would now like to call up to stage some of the members of Congress who helped make this day possible, and some of the Americans who will benefit from these reforms.  And we’re going to sign this bill.

This is going to take a little while.  I’ve got to use every pen, so it’s going to take a really long time.  I didn’t practice. 

(The bill is signed.) 

We are done. 

11:56 A.M. EDT

Source: WhiteHouse.gov

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Fidel Castro applauds US health bill— "It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence . . . the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago," Castro wrote. The longtime Cuban leader — who ceded power to his brother Raul in 2008 — has continued to pronounce his thoughts on world issues though frequent essays, titled "Reflections," which are published in state newspapers. Cuba provides free health care and education to all its citizens, and heavily subsidizes food, housing, utilities and transportation, policies that have earned it global praise. The government has warned that some of those benefits are no longer sustainable given Cuba's ever-struggling economy, though it has so far not made major changes. . . .  In Thursday's essay, Castro called Obama a "fanatic believer in capitalist imperialism" but also praised him as "unquestionably intelligent." "I hope that the stupid things he sometimes says about Cuba don't cloud over that intelligence," he said. KRQE.

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'Go For It,' Obama Tells Republicans On Health Care Repeal

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Health reform in the United States: Reflections of Fidel—BARACK Obama is a fanatical believer in the imperialist capitalist system imposed by the United States on the world. "God bless the United States," he ends his speeches. Some of his acts wounded the sensibility of world opinion, which viewed with sympathy the African-American candidate’s victory over that country’s extreme right-wing candidate. Basing himself on one of the worst economic crises that the world has ever seen, and the pain caused by young Americans who lost their lives or were injured or mutilated in his predecessor’s genocidal wars of conquest, he won the votes of the majority of 50% of Americans who deign to go to the polls in that democratic country.

Out of an elemental sense of ethics, Obama should have abstained from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize when he had already decided to send 40,000 soldiers to an absurd war in the heart of Asia.The current administration’s militarist policies, its plunder of natural resources and unequal exchange with the poor countries of the Third World are in no way different from those of its predecessors, almost all of them extremely right-wing, with some exceptions, throughout the past century. Granma

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The Bridge The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By David Remnick

A conversation with Gwen Ifill of PBS

and author of

The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#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 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. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies. As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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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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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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posted 22 March 2010

 

 

 

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