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THIS YORUBA MAN UNDERSTANDS HOW OBAMA WON!-FROM THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA,NOV. 30,2008

December 1, 2008

from punchng.com
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What Africa needs from Obama
By FEMI MIMIKO
Published: Sunday, 30 Nov 2008
WHILE not denying the principal place of providence in the election of the US president-elect Barack Obama, I hasten to note that the events that led to his election November 4, 2008, the election inclusive, were all largely predictable. At an interactive session with the African Security class of cadets at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, late March 2008, the course director, a professor and brigadier-general in the US Army asked pointedly whether one thought Obama was going to win. She actually wanted, she said to members of the class, to be in a position to say after November 4 that a visiting professor from Nigeria made that prediction first in her class. While recoiling from making a pointed statement in that direction, yours sincerely left the class in no doubt that if Hilary Clinton agreed to drop off from the Democratic Party primary early enough, knowing full well that there was by that date no question of her winning the nomination, Obama would coast to an easy victory. As it happened, Clinton dropped off, although not so early, but whatever downside that could have represented was compensated for by the Clintons‘ unequivocal support for Obama soon after Hilary had adjusted to the painful reality that she was not going to be able to go beyond inflicting 18 million cracks on the glass ceiling brooding over the heads of women in US politics. And Obama went ahead to win.

Whoever had any illusions about the very powerful place of race in the US system should at the end of the grueling campaign that Obama had had to go through have been convinced that in the United States, racism is alive and well, the profoundly significance of the election of an African-American November 4 notwithstanding. For but for the fact of race, the distinction between an Obama and a John McCain were so clear that it was a scandal that only a maximum seven-point differential was recorded between the two candidates in the run-up to the election. Were Obama to be a white man, it can be argued, it would have been too clear to everybody that the impending election was not going to be much more than a mere formality as the figures would not have been anything less than 80-20 in favour of Obama, especially soon after McCain committed what perhaps would go down as the most incredible error of judgment in any presidential campaign, his choice of that most unlikely candidate called Sarah Palin as running mate. To perceptive observers, the McCain campaign effectively ended after that choice, the so-called ability of the Alaskan Governor to rally the core conservative base notwithstanding. Her intellectual firepower was just too modest to make the requisite impact on the electoral process in the United States.

Even so, a number of factors combined to ensure that race did not become the dominant force in the election and that in spite of its relative importance; it did not prevent Obama from coasting home to victory. Some of these had to do with the person of Barack Obama himself. Others were due to forces not exactly his own making. First, the fact of the involvement of a woman, of so much accomplishment like Hilary Clinton, somebody the award-winning novelist Maya Angelou described most aptly as ‘some cookie too hard to crack‘, and on the platform of the formidable, indeed fearful Clinton political machine, helped to mainstream the issue of gender and what role it was going to play. That in a way served to reduce the wholesale focus on race that would have been inevitable if a strong female contender had not been involved in the race. The heat, as it were, was shared by the black man and the female Caucasian who on different tracks sought to make history.

Second, the mortgage crisis early in the year in the US had displayed all the features of a major recession in the making. Indeed, in a bold appreciation of the impending crisis, the IMF noted way back in March that the emergent crisis had all the potentials of snowballing into a major global recession within four to 12 months. That precisely was what happened. And it served to make the economy the most important issue to all of 70 per cent of American voters who at any rate had convinced themselves that while McCain was stronger on national defence, Obama looked more like the person that understood the nature of the economic crisis and would be better able to handle it. It was thus obvious by early March that since the economy crisis was not going to go away very quickly, and in the context in which McCain himself, unsolicited, had declared his lack of interest in economics, that important as Iraq could be, a good majority of Americans were going to be influenced to cast their votes by the trend presented by the economy.

Third, Obama‘s background in Africa rather than in the highly divisive civil rights culture of the United States also detracted from the level of discomfort that the average white folk felt towards him. The palpable anger in the real African-American, of slavery origin, is something the white folks would remain uncomfortable with for a long time to come. But Obama has none of this. He therefore came across as the average first generation American, a son of an immigrant the type that massively populates the US from across the world.

To be sure, it had to take an African-American of such origin to accomplish what Obama has achieved. Way back in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1993 at a semi-formal forum of discussants of the African-American condition in the US, one had argued that given the depth of the psychological (and perhaps physical) damage that the system had either wittingly or otherwise visited on the descendants of African slaves in the US, the depth of their anger and doubtful self-confidence consequent upon this experience, it was going to take only an African-American of African (not slavery) origin to make an impact on the US political system. They alone could have the type of confidence (audacity of hope?) that was the bedrock of an audacious act of running for president at the time Obama did.

Note for instance that in spite of all entreaties, Gen. Colin Powell, a man who qualifies to be called an American hero, if one exists, refused to be drawn into the fray in 1994. Not even after all opinion polls had indicated that he alone from the Republican Party could beat President Bill Clinton in the impending election made him change his mind on not contesting. Even after Senator Bob Dole became the candidate, opinion polls suggested that he would win only if Powell agreed to run on his side as VP candidate. The newly retired soldier would have none of it, not even when it was suggested that he could be allowed to combine the position of Vice President with that of the Secretary of State. That is the nature of the trepidation that an African-American of African origin would probably not suffer from.

The good thing about the Obama phenomenon now, as several commentators have noted, is that the African-American community now have a real role model beyond what the rap artists and the sports divas presented. It is therefore a settled matter that Obama the self-confidence of the descendants of African slaves would thenceforth become real players, and no longer on the sidelines, in America‘s highly engaging political system.

A close examination of the Obama and McCain plans on national security, on the economy and other issue areas no doubt reveals the superiority of the former over the latter. But that hardly was the basis of Obama‘s ultimate triumph. Rather, more than any single factor, the man‘s deep understanding of the American political system, including the psychology and political behavioural pattern of the American people accounted for his victory. Of course the place of organisation and access to funds – perhaps the two most critical variables by which electoral victory is determined in climes where voting is consequential – cannot be overemphasised. He understood very clearly Americans‘ distaste for division and campaigned on the basis of rallying everybody – Democrats, Republicans and independents. He provided a platform broad enough to appeal to Americans across this wide spectrum. He knew Americans do not feel comfortable with attacks on opponents. Thus, rather than join the Republicans in what has become a tradition of ‘water-boarding‘, Barack Obama simply took time to point attention to the weakness of the approach in the McCain Campaign. Knowing that the average American voter watches keenly for the slightest evidence of discomposure on the part of their leaders, he maintained a consistency and steadiness that put McCain‘s movement back and forth on the economy in bolder relief.

Obama appreciated the premium Americans place on family values and played the card to the hilt. First, he and Michelle always made a point of demonstrating their closeness. Where McCain would hardly notice the presence of his wife, the Obamas ensured, with the appropriate body language, that they made a point of their closeness. Obama‘s decision to skip campaign and visit his ailing grandma 12 hours away from continental USA in Hawaii was as much an indication of the deep love he had for the woman as it was a clear signal to Americans that this Barack is also a human being too. It was also such a huge statement to the women folk on how highly esteemed women were in his reckoning.

The manner of Obama‘s frontal attack on the race issue, an opportunity for which was provided by his former Pastor, also left Americans wondering for the first time whether there was any sense in the very pivotal place that they had given to the race question for years. He thus was able to use the platform of Pastor Jeremiah Wright to lay the race issue to rest. Rather than deny race and racism as most Americans are wont to do, Barack Obama decided the bigot must be confronted. In his March 18 speech on the subject, undoubtedly the most profound statement and a classic for all time on race relations in the US, the man who would be President reviewed the position of the angry African-American and the concerned Caucasians and concluded that there was no point running away from these realities. Rather, he argued that it behoved on all to confront these prejudices that had served to limit the promise of the American dream to so many.

All said and done, one cannot but note with much admiration the sensitivity of the American people to the opportunity for a national renewal that on Obama Presidency presented them with. That they chose to rise above all prejudice and embraced the definitive agenda of change that Obama espoused is a sure guarantee of the continued global leadership of the United States. A vote for the old ways of looking at issues and the rustic ways of doing things that McCain in spite of his personal goodness and history of service to America represented would have signalled the inevitable and perhaps irreversible downward spiral of US power and global influence. Hesitation at a similar historical juncture at the beginning of the last century, precisely in the period of the Great Depression, on the part of Britain marked the attenuation of British power and influence around the world. The country that prided itself and about which all other peoples were compelled to sing, ‘Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves. Britons never, never shall be slaves!‘ failed to provide the leadership consistent with its history and image. Meanwhile President F.D. Roosevelt‘s New Deal programme was so imaginative and pivotal. It turbo-charged the US economy ahead of all others and sealed US global influence and leadership. It is their weakening hold on the globe that the Americans chose to tighten by embracing what but for Hannah Ardent‘s insistence that a revolution must of necessity be violent, would have qualified to be called the Obama revolution.

Now the question that arises is, having won the election and made history by so doing, what exactly does a President Barack Obama hold in trust for Africa? There is no doubt about the tendency on the part of many of us to assume that Obama‘s roots in Africa is a sure guarantee of a more pro-Africa foreign policy on the part of the US of the post-January 20 era. It would be a surprise indeed if this turns out to be so on the basis of Obama‘s pedigree. The truth is that to all intents and purposes, Obama is an American. His African roots are incidental and are not going to be a huge factor in the attitude of the US to the continent. In his ‘My American Dream‘ published soon after he left the military, General Powell gave vent to the surprise he felt at the elaborate reception he got on his first visit to Jamaica after his appointment as US‘ top soldier. He said he wondered whether his hosts had any illusion that he was anything other than an American, the fact of his roots in Jamaica notwithstanding!

All of these are not to say however that the fortune of Africa will not be better under an Obama Presidency than it was under several contemporary US Presidents. But the source of this optimism is not because of his roots, but because the man has this general orientation that is supportive of the weak and the disadvantaged, something that arguably is a carryover from his mother who married twice in her lifetime to Third World husbands. As we noted at an academic Seminar of the Department of Political Science at Ile-Ife in March, a McCain victory would not have changed the direction of extant US policy towards Africa in any significant way. And while Clinton‘s palpable desire for political correctness would have undercut her government‘s commitment to Africa if she had won, an Obama Presidency promises to be epochal for the continent, but not necessarily because of his African pedigree. If we extrapolate on his profound appreciation of, and courage in articulating the racial challenge that his country faces, a deep passion for the weak and disadvantaged and the higher morality of sharing (remember McCain‘s ‘spreading the wealth‘ charge?) to enhance societal harmony that defined his March 18, 2008, ”We the people, in order to form a more perfect union” address, an Obama presidency should ordinarily rub off well on Africa – a hugely disadvantaged region – in its search for democracy and development.

-Prof. Mimiko is head, Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

TRACE YOUR AFRICAN ANCESTRY THRU DNA LIKE OTHER BLACKamerikkkans HAVE DONE-FROM PRWEB.COM

December 1, 2008

from prweb.com

Growing Interest in DNA-Based Genetic Testing Among African American with Historic Election of President Elect Barack Obama

African Ancestry Helps A-List Line Up of African American Celebs Join Obama in Knowing their Roots in Africa; RIse of consumer genetic testing coupled with First Black President of African descent spawn trend in African Americans to trace roots to Africa during post-election Holiday season. The excitement of this unprecedented election season coupled with the increase in consumer-based genetic testing has spawned a heightened interest among African Americans

Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 27, 2008 — One thing President-Elect Barack Obama won’t have to grapple with in the Oval Office is his ancestry. He’s one of the few African Americans who actually know exactly where in Africa their African bloodlines began — an experience that remains elusive to many people of African descent in the U.S. African Ancestry, Inc., the company that pioneered DNA-based ancestry tracing for people of African descent, is making it easier and more accurate for African Americans to be like Obama and know their roots this Holiday Season with a specially-priced Holiday DNA-Test Kit at ww.africanancestry.com/holiday.

African American Icons ‘in-the-know’ on African Roots:
In addition to the thousands of families impacted through African Ancestry’s DNA tracing during the past five years, African-American celebrities have also responded to the trend. African Ancestry’s celebrity round-up includes movie stars and musical artists to business moguls and political leaders. With common ancestries in West and Central Africa — regions more affected by the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade — a majority of African Ancestry’s celebrity reveals are
from present-day Sierra Leone. Cameroon and Nigeria also run a good race as genetic homelands for many of America’s top African American icons among the nearly 40 countries that African Ancestry’s proprietary DNA testing system is designed to trace (Sample listing):

Maya Angelou — Sierra Leone
India.Arie — Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia
Jim Brown – Nigeria
Don Cheadle – Cameroon
Kimberly Elise – Mali
Roberta Flack – Cameroon
Morgan Freeman – Niger
Whoopi Goldberg — Sierra Leone, Liberia
Louis Gossett Jr. — Sierra Leone, Liberia
Judge Hatchett – Nigeria
Tom Joyner — Sierra Leone
Spike Lee, Niger – Cameroon
Taraji P. Henson – Cameroon Russ Parr – Niger
Chris Rock – Nigeria
Forrest Whitaker – Ghana
Oprah Winfrey – Liberia
Susan Taylor — Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia
Hon. Andrew Young — Sierra Leone
Mayor Shirley Franklin — Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone
Dr. Dorothy Height — Sierra Leone
Congr. Barbara Lee — Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone
Dr. Louis Sullivan — Sierra Leone
Congr. Diane Watson, Central African Republic
Chauncey Davis — Sierra Leone, Liberia
Trevor Pryce — Sierra Leone, Liberia
Etan Thomas — Sierra Leone
Dr. John Hope Franklin – Cameroon
Dr. Wade Nobles — Sierra Leone
Dr. Mae Jemison — Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Senegal

Power in Knowing — From Kenya to U.S. Presidency:
President-Elect Obama’s paternal lineage is rooted in Kenya on Africa’s eastern coast. While his achievements have reached nations in all corners of the world, he knows exactly where it all started. African Ancestry’s one-swab technique can reveal the ancestry of an entire family so it’s economically relevant this Holiday season. Additionally, for tests submitted by December 31, African Ancestry will have results available during Black History Month so that families can commemorate their Reveals during an historic moment in time.

“The excitement of this unprecedented election season coupled with the increase in consumer-based genetic testing has spawned a heightened interest among African Americans,” said African Ancestry Co-Founder & President Gina Paige. “It’s bigger than the demand for test kits. It’s a renewed sense of self that we’ve seen permeate through our online Member discussions and community participation as well as media interest and emails and cold calls from people
hungry for more information,” said Paige.

About African Ancestry: Founded in 2003 on years of research, African Ancestry, Inc. is the ancestry tracing company that pioneered African lineage matching in the United States utilizing its proprietary DNA-database of more than 25,000 African DNA lineages to more accurately assess present-day country of origin for people of African descent. Since its inception, African Ancestry’s lineage reveals have impacted the lives of more than 100,000 people in the U.S. from communities at large to global leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Joyner and the Reverend Jesse Jackson. African Ancestry has been featured across the globe in outlets such as CNN’s Black in America series, 60 Minutes and Essence Magazine; and was the centerpiece to the ground-breaking PBS special “African American Lives 1 & 2″ with Skip Gates. African Ancestry is African-American-owned and operated and headquartered in Washington, DC. For press inquiries, contact Taylor Communications Group.

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OBAMA’S VICTORY MADE HEADLINES EVEN IN MISSISSIPPI!-NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES FROM ALL OVER amerikkka!

November 29, 2008

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CHICAGO DEFENDER (BLACK NEWSPAPER),CHICAGO,ILLINOIS

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THE HUNTSVILLE TIMES, HUNTSVILLE,ALABAMA

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IDAHO STATESMAN, BOISE IDAHO

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il_re
REDEYE,CHICAGO,ILLINOIS

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE,CHICAGO,ILLINOIS

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SOUTHTOWN STAR,TINELEY PARK ,ILLINOIS

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LAWRENCE JOURNAL WORLD, LAWRENCE, KANSAS (WHERE I LIVED MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DAYS AND DECIDED TO COME BACK TO AFRICA!)

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THE TIMES,SHREVEPORT,LOUISIANA

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DETROIT FREE PRESS,(MICHIGAN)

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THE CLARION-LEDGER, JACKSON,MISSISSIPPI!

ms_nmdj
NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI DAILY JOURNAL,TUPELO,MISSISSIPPI(TALK ABOUT MISSISSIPPI THIS IS REAL MISSISSIPPI!)

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THE STAR-LEDGER,NEWARK,NEW JERSEY

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THE SALINAS CALIFORNIAN

ca_sfc
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE(CALIFORNIA)

ca_pd
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT,SANTA ROSA CALIFORNIA

co_rmn
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,DENVER,COLORADO

ct_hc
HARTFORD COURANT,(CONNECTICUT)

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THE EXAMINER, WASHINGTON D.C.

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SUN SENTINEL, FT.LAUDERDALE,FLORIDA

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ORLANDO SENTINEL,(FLORIDA)

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TAMPA BAY TIMES,ST.PETERSBURG,FLORIDA

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ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,ATLANTA, GEORGIA

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THE TELEGRAPH, MACON,GEORGIA

MICHELLE OBAMA-A BLACK BEAUTY IN THE BLACK HOUSE!-FROM THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE

November 29, 2008

FROM ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.com

michelleo
« A new Obama impersonator plz | Main | Not so left after all… »

About that Nubian queen meme…
25 Nov 2008 11:00 am

UPDATE: To be perfectly clear, I think she looks beautiful. Sorry for the initial confusion.

I don’t speak French, but I think I get the message…Man, it keeps hitting you doesn’t it? This whole “black president” thing is like fragmentation bomb. And I keep getting smacked by the shrapnel. This is f–embarrassing. Look, this blog is Ta-Nehisi thinking out loud. I say it’s embarrassing because I’m constantly worried about getting sucked in and churning out hagiography–to the point that sometimes I find myself just looking for things to disagree with Obama on.

I was writing yesterday about the need to say something different. And yet when I see a picture like this, when I see a black woman, who isn’t an entertainer, photographed like this I’m stunned. And the worst part is, as of this Fall, I knew all this was coming. I thought Obama would win, and I knew there’d be pictures just like this. Yet perhaps I’ve been too intellectual. I think intellectually, I was, and am, ready. But emotionally, I’m unprepared. I didn’t do much thinking about how all of this was going to make me feel toward black people, toward my own identity as a black person. We’ve always been the antiheroes of the American narrative. I love the X-Men not the Avengers. I love Spiderman not Superman. I love Boromir not Aragorn (in the film at least). Lucille Clifton has this great short poem, which goes like this:

Love rejected
hurts so much more
than Love rejecting;
they act like they don’t love their country

No

what it is
is they found out
their country don’t love them.

That’s who we were for so long–“The Love Rejected.” I’ve been hard on post-racial euphoria, because it’s so obviously stupid. But equally stupid is cynicism in this age, to walk around like nothing’s changed, like we simply are “The Love Rejected.” That probably has more to do with my own fears, than anything out there being written. Anyway, I’m rambling. Again.

Props to Blacksnob for the link.

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Comments (51)

Aw, quit it, T-N, you’re making me all teary.

Posted by elmo | November 25, 2008 11:05 AM

It’s like you got to go back to your HS reunion and find the cool kids were middle aged fatties, and you, the wall flower, were the new kool?

Never having been cool or kool, I’m just happy and proud that that beautiful, smart, wonderful woman is gonna be our first lady. We’ve been blessed.

Posted by zic | November 25, 2008 11:08 AM

TNC, if you stop seeing her as a black woman, and see her instead as a strong person, you will love this picture. She is such an important role model for women and girls everywhere– She is strong, intelligent, hardworking person, who is also 100% woman. Very much like Condi in this aspect. i respect her very very much for her work and intelligence, but i respect her just as much for remaining a feminine woman in a strong role.
Love love love Michele.

Posted by lebecka | November 25, 2008 11:08 AM

The article says that:”The First Lady is not used to playing second best”. Damn right!

Posted by Antoine Larotre | November 25, 2008 11:14 AM

Get it together, man.

I find this whole thing to be both awesome and anticlimactic. Having a black president is incredible, but at the same time, it feels totally normal and unremarkable. And maybe that’s because of who it is. Obama is the best man for the job, and it just feels right. His boringness and competence are more of a surprise to me than his blackness.

That’s not to say I don’t have a whole heap of race pride, though. When I saw that shot on Snob’s site I was totally blown, too.

(Also, Boromir?! Booooo. It’s all about Faramir from the books.)

Posted by shani-o | November 25, 2008 11:15 AM

Deleted. Got a post coming.

Posted by Ta-Nehisi Coates | November 25, 2008 11:17 AM

Does it not just feel like it should have been like this all along?

Posted by Berliner2 | November 25, 2008 11:19 AM

Deleted for transparent sock-puppetry. You’re an embarrassment to otherwise clever, racist trolls everywhere.

Posted by Harry | November 25, 2008 11:28 AM

“(Also, Boromir?! Booooo. It’s all about Faramir from the books.)”

To be fair to TNC, Faramir was a bit of a jerk in the movie. (He wanted to claim the ring too? Really, Peter Jackson?)

I don’t suppose anybody here can translate the French? Please?

Posted by PeterGuillam | November 25, 2008 11:35 AM

Wow… What a beauty…

And also someone with a Law degree from Harvard.

What more can we ask to have as our First Lady.

Thank YOU LORD for blessing us.

Posted by JohnS | November 25, 2008 11:38 AM

She looks amazing. I almost feel guilty staring – like Barack’s my mans and them or something.

Posted by Jonathan | November 25, 2008 11:39 AM

Haha. You nailed it Jonathan.

Posted by Ta-Nehisi Coates | November 25, 2008 11:43 AM

I’d throw my crap Canadian schoolboy french at it, but all I see on blacksnob’s site is a jpg, not a full link….

Posted by gracchus | November 25, 2008 11:44 AM

Amen, Jonathan. But at the same time…damn.

Posted by Jack T. | November 25, 2008 11:53 AM

Uh, maybe you’re smacked because that is A F** GORGEOUS PHOTO OF MICHELE. I can’t stop staring myself. Wow.

I don’t actually think Michele is pretty, but she has a quality to her that can be beautiful. Sometimes it comes through, sometimes it doesn’t. But wow when it comes through… Radiance.

See, this is why Rove’s whole Barack-is-that-snotty-guy-at-the-country-club-with-a-beautiful-date-on-his-arm dog whistle meme didn’t work. When the beautiful date on your arm is your wife, it isn’t going to work.

Posted by Breukelyne | November 25, 2008 11:55 AM

Translation (as best I could on the spot):

On his way to the presidency, it was she that Obama had to convince first. Michelle was afraid that politics would steal her husband from her. Today, she has been called on to become an exceptional First Lady. Her background is just as remarkable as Barack’s. Before she quit her job to take care of their daughters, in January 2008, she had made more money than he did… Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama defines herself as a “statistical anomaly”: born into a modest Chicago family, she reinvented herself thanks to her intelligence. In 1989, while working for the state legislature [I think?], she met Barack Obama. He fell for her immediately, she less so; she nonetheless agreed to go out with him that night. They were married in 1992. Since then, Michelle’s fight for her husband’s career has not eclipsed their family life. Her first priority: “To help my daughters adapt to the White House”.

Posted by Izabella | November 25, 2008 11:55 AM

Wow! Michelle looks unbelievable good. I first thought it was a model that resembled her. She looks as strong as always but “softer” and sexier at the same time.

Posted by Eduardo | November 25, 2008 12:00 PM

I’ve tried to do a rough translation of the article below. I apologise for any inaccuracies, i am not a native French speaker.

“On his way to the presidency, she was the first person Obama had to convince. Michelle was afraid that politics would rob her of her husband. Today, she is called upon to become an exceptional first lady. Her journey is almost as remarkable as Barack’s. Before taking leave off work to look after their daughters in Jan 2008, she was earning more than he did.

Michelle defines herself as a statistical peculiarity: child of a modest family from Chicago, her intelligence allowed her to succeed. In 1989, while working at a legal practice, she was put in charge of welcoming a trainee, Barack Obama. He fell for her, she less so: it took months before she agreed to go out with him. They married in 1992.

Since then, Michelle has fought to prevent their family life from being overwhelmed by her husband’s career. Her first concern from now on is: helping her daughters adapt to the white house”.

Posted by Gabrielle | November 25, 2008 12:13 PM

“In 1989, while working for the state legislature [I think?], she met Barack Obama.”

Not quite. “In 1989, while working at a law firm, she was charged with welcoming a summer associate, Barack Obama.”

Posted by canuck | November 25, 2008 12:15 PM

Izabella, it gets even better: They met when Barack got a job at the corporate law firm where Michelle worked – and she was assigned to mentor him, or something like that.

She is very accomplished and successful. I reckoned early on that Barack must be one heck of a guy to be her husband.

Posted by Bethany | November 25, 2008 12:20 PM

He fell for her, she less so: it took months before she agreed to go out with him. They married in 1992.
Since then, Michelle has fought to prevent their family life from being overwhelmed by her husband’s career. Her first concern from now on is: helping her daughters adapt to the white house”.

Oops… yes, that’s the correct version.

Next time: coffee first, French translation second.

Posted by Izabella | November 25, 2008 12:26 PM

Hey TNC, correct your Tolkien fan-boy spelling. Your commenters got it right.

(I have nothing of substance to add, btw.)

Signed,
Nerd

Posted by Brian Schmidt | November 25, 2008 12:45 PM

PeterGuillam – Did you see the Extended Editions of the movies? It completely puts Faramir’s character back to where he was in the books. Which I think is a great thing, in case anyone’s wondering.

Oh, yeah, this wasn’t originally a LOTR thread – that is an amazing photo. And I too keep getting smacked in the face about what this presidency will mean – not on a racial level as TNC describes here, but as a person who leans to the left. The most recent was Net Neutrality advocates being put in the FCC. I looked like a deer in headlights when I read that. So I think I can empathize, even if it’s not the same emotion.

Posted by KT | November 25, 2008 12:48 PM

So how do you feel about Condi? (That’s a serious question, not trying to be flip).

Posted by TW Andrews | November 25, 2008 1:11 PM

I met Michelle at a fund raiser in Phoenix and I was struck by her beauty. I’ve seen a lot of photos of her but this one is perhaps the finest I’ve seen yet.

Posted by Desert Dove | November 25, 2008 1:26 PM

TW Andrews

TNC wrote an article all about condi here’s the link its really a good apraisal.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2003-07-22/news/rice-rice-baby/

“When Condoleezza Rice struts high-heeled into the Oval Office and dispenses advice, dictators seek plastic surgery, bombs float down over cities, and radicals turn up Jimmy Hoffa.”

But this is beside the point. The only thing that Michelle Obama has in common with Condi Rice is that they are both black. Drawing comparisons between the two is like trying to get Danes and Norwegians to get along at a Ludefisk dinner. It doesn’t work.

Posted by Sorn | November 25, 2008 1:50 PM

We like you, we really like you!

Posted by Beth in VA | November 25, 2008 1:55 PM

TNC–You can’t see Barack as Aragorn? Or the whole election as the African-American “Return of the King”? Hell, even Spiderman got Mary Jane (ok, if for a while).

Posted by Strong | November 25, 2008 2:11 PM

I usually don’t like Annie Liebowitz’ work, but wow, what a powerful photograph. Michelle is as beautiful as she is smart, and this picture captures that. Maybe its because I’m more used to pictures of Barack by now, but the whole “black first lady” thing seems almost more culturally revolutionary than the “black president” thing.

Posted by James Harrigan | November 25, 2008 3:03 PM

I totally get it. I’m still reading “behind the scenes” articles about the campaign and tensing up and getting nervous. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s over, we won, the Obama’s are about to move into the White House. And yes, damn that’s a gorgeous picture.

Posted by CJ | November 25, 2008 3:06 PM

She is just MADE made of awesome. Dizzamn!!

Love the poem.

that is all.

Posted by Faramir’s Girl | November 25, 2008 3:25 PM

I dunno: I’m a middle-aged white woman, and I had a total girl-crush on Michelle Obama from the first time I saw her. So smart, so elegant, and so beautiful.

I don’t know what hits you when you see this photo, TNC, but I see a strong, successful woman and it is a wonderful, wonderful sight.

Posted by Karen | November 25, 2008 4:03 PM

TN, it hit me that in the first paragraph of this story, the word ‘noir’, black, is not mentioned. This story may somewhere later on focus onto African-American issues, but at the start, it is very much about Michelle and her strong personality. Whatever comes next, and I dont know cause I’ve not read it, will be interpreted with the info that is already given. And that is that she is a independent woman, who is her own person.

The woman looks absolutely stunning in this photograph. Savour the moment. She your next First Lady. The fact that Michelle is black is self-evident, but that seems to me not to be the main message of this article.
Is this taken from a Canadian or a French magazine? The subtext may differ if this is a French mag – the French have a completely different thing going on with race in their society than North-Americans. How people all over the world view the Obama’s says a lot about themselves, of course, but this is not just about their history with race and racism.
First of all, we have already gotten used to the news of them being African American. They have been on our television screens for the last twelve months, too. It is more complicated, and has more to do with our inter-connectedness. People all over the planet are really happy Bush is on the way out, and Michelle and Barack Obama are international icons of change that effect us foreigners on a personal level too. We are all longing for Obama to end the war in Iraq, where other countries besides the US have soldiers deployed, or had them deployed before.
And there are some other issues, global warming, torture etc, that are truly global.
That great exhalation on the night of Nov. 4 was a global sigh of relief. So we are in a sense appropriating this gorgeous looking woman, who has never looked as good as in this picture, as our saviour. An to get back to your original point in your post, if I understand you well, you sound uncomfortable with the international interest for what Michelle looks like.
Look at it this way: that the First Couple are African-American will continue have a ripple effect on race relations all over the world that can only be positive – but it is too early to even make a prediction on the scale and scope of these changes.

And what’s this about you liking Boromir over Aragorn? How interesting! Where did that come from all of a sudden, in a post about MO?

Posted by Daphne | November 25, 2008 4:24 PM

She is a Black woman, with great makeup, for HER SKIN, and she just looks like a Queen.

Period.

I’m not letting anyone rain on my parade.

I will not retreat from this: I’m happier Michelle is going to the White House than I am Barack.

Yes. I am beyond thrilled that a Black woman..

a no-doubt-about-it-her-ancestors-were-in-the-belly-of-those-slave-ships SISTA

Is about to become First Lady.

Posted by rikyrah | November 25, 2008 4:25 PM

The picture is both stunning and powerful.

To the rest of the world, the sight/image/concept of a black couple rising to the throne in a world ruled for centuries by white people, it will be a very powerful moment. It’s a thought that I dared not savor before voting day, and have somehow almost skipped over or taken for granted since. It’s images like these that remind me. . .

Posted by Direwolfc | November 25, 2008 4:56 PM

Michelle Obama is a whole lot of woman. She’s hot, smart, & I’m more than proud she’s going to be our next First Lady.

Gonna be fun watching her grow into the role. And redefine it.

Posted by sv | November 25, 2008 9:11 PM

clarification: I hear you, Coates, on the racial pride emotion, although not in this case since Barack doesn’t share any race with me really. Otherwise I’m like one of your other posters above, for whom this feels rather natural and less remarkable than it is to older people. I guess it’s more multi-racial in NYC/Jerz where I’m from? I don’t know.

Also, Doctor Jay – Sigourney Weaver! Yes, man that nails it.

Michelle and Barack kind of blow me away as people, I couldn’t hack it as either of them for half an hour. It’s actually a little intimidating even as I empathize (especially with Barack) as a nerd. (clearly the man is a nerd, a cool nerd by even non-nerd definitions of cool but a nerd nonetheless. but i digress and you actually already had a whole post or twelve about this.) But Michelle especially, she’s so poised and projects this positivity.

This is all aside from my trepidation about the rough patch I feel our country’s about to go through, not on Obama’s account and I’m glad that such a competent and serious guy like him is in charge, but being a non-liberal (yes I know he is a centrist and i’m for workable healthcare and all but he’s left-er than me) i worry about some of the change that is coming. heh, classic definition of conservative.

Posted by sv | November 25, 2008 9:21 PM

SV,

I vote for “actually a little intimidating” as one of the reasons the whole thing–from the beauty and style to the intellect and strategy right on to the intense marriage and the poised happy children– feels so good from a white perspective. Being overshadowed a little bit is good for the character.

Posted by Sporcupine | November 25, 2008 9:59 PM

Yeah, I mean, the first thing I noticed (besides how unbelievably beautiful she is) is that the opening paragraph of this French article doesn’t mention race at all. Is that surprising? It seems surprising.

Posted by Jason | November 25, 2008 10:47 PM

“I love the X-Men not the Avengers. I love Spiderman not Superman.”

Dude, get out of my head.

Another thing that’s striking is how different Michelle is (besides the obvious) from just about all of her contemporary predecessors. Laura Bush looks like she’s hopped up on pills and doesn’t have a thought in her heard. Barbara Bush went to school just to get her MRS and is the reason the Bush children are so emotionally damaged. Nancy Reagan… well, that’s shooting fish in a barrel. Jackie-O was lovely, but fundamentally tragic and a bit of a pushover. Meanwhile, Michelle isn’t afraid to be feminine, but nobody doubts she’s as smart as a whip and isn’t a weakling, thus proving being feminine woman and being strong and smart aren’t mutually exclusive. Her and Barack actually seem to have an actual human relationship of equals unlike any president in my lifetime. (And her kids are beyond adorable.)

Plus, I cannot get over the fact we have a First Lady from the South Side of Chicago who wrote sympathetically about Stokely Carmichael in her college thesis. Awesome.

Posted by Reality Man | November 25, 2008 10:52 PM

But this is beside the point. The only thing that Michelle Obama has in common with Condi Rice is that they are both black. Drawing comparisons between the two is like trying to get Danes and Norwegians to get along at a Ludefisk dinner. It doesn’t work.

Sure their politics are totally different, I think it’s a stretch to say that the only thing they have in common is that they’re black. But mostly I was wondering how much of TNC’s infatuation with Michelle was due to her politics and how much was due to non-political identity. Based on the article you pointed to it seems that he liked Condi quite a bit too, even while disliking her politics, which is what I’d hoped.

And to get the Norwegians and Danes talking in agreement, all you need to do is bring up the Swedes ;-)

Posted by Jugular | November 26, 2008 6:13 AM

First of all, I really enjoy reading your blog, glad I ran across it.

One of the things that went through my head after Obama won it was how many commonplace things are going to be shaken up now because it’s not a white family in the White House doing them. I was thinking of even mundane things like the Easter Egg Roll, how a) it’ll be great to have younger kids in the White House doing that sort of thing b) any non-white kids can see that on TV and just see it as the normal thing. It’s very cool to see this though a bit disorienting at first (BTW, I’m white). I had a little of that feeling myself when I saw Obama’s first press conference: black guy out in front, bunch of middle-aged grey white guys behind him. I think you don’t realize how many of these sort of things there are until they shift.

Posted by JoeC | November 26, 2008 9:07 AM

Goodness gracious me, I was really tired last night… sorry about the blabber, it could have done with a round of solid proofreading.

Posted by Daphne | November 26, 2008 9:12 AM

She’s stunning. I have a pretty serious crush on her. Smart, strong, beautiful, caring and grounded.

She has the same eyebrows that my mother had. When I was a little kid, I thought they made her look mean.

I don’t think that anymore.

Posted by patrick | November 26, 2008 11:51 AM

“Based on the article you pointed to it seems that he liked Condi quite a bit too, even while disliking her politics, which is what I’d hoped”

Hell its hard to dislike Condi Rice even if you disagree with her policies. She has a compelling story.

“And to get the Norwegians and Danes talking in agreement, all you need to do is bring up the Swedes”

I sense a paralell here, but I don’t want to bring it up. :)

Posted by Sorn | November 26, 2008 1:42 PM

This photograph reminds me of a John Singer Sargent portrait. She looks lovely, powerful, and a smidge elusive.

Posted by res ipsa loquitur | November 27, 2008 7:16 AM

A BLACKamerikkkan SCHOLAR MAULANA KARENGA EXPOUNDS ON THE BEAUTY/WISDOM OF ODU IFA-FROM STATEOFTHEBLACKWORLD.ORG

November 26, 2008

FROM stateoftheblackworld.org

ETHICAL INSIGHTS FROM ODU IFA:
CHOOSING TO BE CHOSEN

Los Angeles Sentinel, 01-25-08, p. A-7
DR.MAULANA KARENGA
Nowhere is the profundity and beauty of African spirituality more apparent than in the Odu Ifa, the sacred text of the spiritual and ethical tradition of Ifa, which is one of the greatest sacred texts of the world and a classic of African and world literature. Its central message revolves around the teach-ings of the Goodness of and in the world; the chosen status of humans in the world; the criteria of a good world; and the re-quirements for a good world. Although these themes are throughout the Odu Ifa, nowhere are they more explicit than in Odu 78:1. The Odu (chapter) begins by declaring “Let’s do things with joy…” For it is understood that the world was created in goodness and that we are to find good in the world, embrace it, increase it, and not let any good be lost. It is obvious here that all is not well with the world, given the poverty, oppression, exploi-tation and general suffering of people. But inherent in this firm belief in the good that is found in the Odu Ifa is the faith that in the midst of the worst of situations there are good people, good will and possibilities for creating good, increasing good and thus constantly expanding the realm of good.
The chosen status of humans is a sec-ond major tenet of Ifa. Odu 78:1 says we should do things with joy “for surely hu-mans have been divinely chosen (yan) to bring good into the world” and that this is the fundamental mission and meaning of human life. And we are chosen not over and against anyone, but chosen with everyone to bring good in the world. Thus, all of us are equally chosen. In fact, the word for human being is eniyan which literally means chosen one, and we are divinely chosen without dis-tinction of nation, race, gender, special reli-gious relationship or promise. Surely this poses an ideal many other world religions are still striving to establish as a central moral doctrine.
But even as we’re chosen, we must also choose to be chosen by doing good in the world. Thus, Odu 78:1 also says that no one can reach their highest level of spiritual-ity or rest in heaven until we all achieve the good world “that Olodumare, God, has or-dained for every human being.” This estab-lishes a divinely ordained right to a good life for every human being. But joined to this human right is the obligation of shared re-sponsibility of humans to make the world good so that everyone can enjoy a good life. The important contribution this makes here to theological and social ethics is that it teaches that transcendence in the spiritual and social sense can never be individualistic, but must always include the happiness and well-being of others. The Odu Ifa says all deserve a good life and good world; ultimate transcendence is impossible without it, and it is a shared task of all humans to achieve it.
The question is, then, posed to the sage and master teacher, Orunmila, of what is a good life and the conditions for the good world. Orunmila answers by saying that the achieving of a good life or good world is de-fined by several essential things: full knowl-edge of things; happiness everywhere; free-dom from anxiety and fear of hostile others; the end of antagonism with other beings on earth, i.e., animals, reptiles and the like; well-being and the end of forces that threaten it; and finally, freedom from pov-erty and misery. Now, it is of great signifi-cance that the first criteria for good life and good world is knowledge. In fact, Orunmila also says that knowledge or rather wisdom is the first requirement for achieving the good. This points to knowledge or education as a basic human right, necessary not only for our understanding our humanity in its most
ETHICAL INSIGHTS FROM ODU IFA: CHOOSING TO BE CHOSEN 2
Los Angeles Sentinel, 01-25-08, p. A-7
DR.MAULANA KARENGA
expansive forms, but also to realize it in the most meaningful and flourishing ways.
But again the good world will not come into being by itself. Thus, five re-quirements are necessary to bring it into be-ing. The first requirement Orunmila lists for achieving a good world, as noted above is wisdom. The text says we must develop “wisdom adequate to govern the world.” This reaffirms human responsibility for the world and the need to obtain adequate wis-dom to carry out this responsibility effec-tively. The core wisdom here is of necessity moral and spiritual wisdom which conceives the world in its interrelated wholeness, re-spects its integrity and works constantly to save, renew and expand the good in it.
Orunmila also taught that humans must move beyond moralities of convenience to a morality of sacrifice, i.e., self-giving in a real, meaningful and sustained way. The Odu Ifa says that “one who makes a small sacrifice will have a small result” (Odu, 45:1). It says to us “be able to suffer without surrendering and persevere in what you do” (Odu, 150). Also, a central moral quest in the Ifa spiritual and ethical tradition is to achieve iwapele, a gentle character or iwarere, good character which are often in-terchangeable. Orunmila cites this as the third requirement to achieving a good world. “It is gentle character which enables the rope of life to remain strong in our hands” according to Odu 119:1.
Orunmila teaches that another one of the main requirements for achieving the good world is “the love of doing good for all people, especially for those who are in need and those who seek assistance from us.” This requirement seeks to create a moral community based not on cold calculation of rule and duty, but on the love of doing good and the joy and benefit it brings to the doer and the recipient of the good. Odu 141:1 says, “Ofun is giving out goodness every-where. (But) Ofun does not make noise about it.” Indeed, to do things coldly and/or loudly is to diminish the good done.
The last requirement Orunmila cites as a requirement for creating a good world re-turns us to the fundamental meaning and mission in human life. He says what is re-quired is “the eagerness and struggle to in-crease good in the world and not let any good be lost.” Again, Orunmila calls for a profound commitment to the good world, and an ongoing and intense struggle for it until it is achieved. The Odu suggests that we must stay ever-ready and engaged, for it says in the pursuit of good, “a constant sol-dier is never unready even once” (Odu, 159:1).
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor of Black Studies, California State University-Long Beach, Chair of The Organiza-tion Us, Creator of Kwanzaa, and author of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture, [www.Us-Organization.org and http://www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org.

A %70 BLACK TOWN IN FLORIDA TO RENAME AVENUE AFTER OBAMA-FROM THEPOLITICALCARNIVAL.BLOGSPOT.COM,NOV.22,2008

November 26, 2008

FROM thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Opa-locka hopes to claim first Obama Avenue in U.S.

Okay, this one is a bit much. The school I get because the kids did it, but this is just too precious.

Turn off Opa-locka’s Ali Baba, and you’ll hit what may be the first street in the nation to be named after the president-elect: Barack Obama Avenue.

The city will officially rename what is now Perviz Avenue on — what else? — Presidents’ Day.

And Opa-locka officials are hoping the newly installed president will attend the dedication.

”His campaign engaged so many diverse people from all over the world,” said Commissioner Dorothy Johnson, who proposed the idea. “He showed good can happen if you only believe.”

Honoring the nation’s first black president is especially important to historically black Opa-locka. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, the city is 70 percent black.

Posted by Paddy at 8:27 AM
Labels: Barack Obama, florida
1 comments:
chris said…
I think this is a good idea. Ya gotta believe that residents call it “Perv Ave” now…

November 22, 2008 11:29 AM

“HISTORIC VICTORY ETCHED IN AMERICAN HISTORY” FROM THE FINAL CALL NEWSPAPER,NOV.12,2008

November 26, 2008

from finalcall.com

——————————————————————————–

Historic victory etched in American history
By Askia Muhammad
Senior Correspondent
Updated Nov 12, 2008, 04:22 pm

obama_family11-2008

President-elect Barack Obama, wife Michelle and daughters Malia, 7, and Sasha, 10, wave at Nov. 4 election night rally in Chicago. Photo: AP Wide World Photos
WASHINGTON – Elation. Euphoria. Tears of joy. Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the United States Nov. 4, 2008.
The date was etched among the most important in American history.

When inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009—one day after the commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday—Mr. Obama will become the first Black President.

When major television networks declared that he had won more than the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory, easily defeating Sen. John McCain (D-Ariz.), joyous celebrations began spontaneously throughout the country and the world.

Analysts and observers heaped praise, freely using superlative comparisons.

All across this country, spontaneous celebrations erupted at the news, sweeping over not just Blacks, but among Americans of every race, religion and class, as well as throughout the African Diaspora and among people all over the planet.

More than 700 newspapers worldwide—many of which sold out on the newsstands—lionized the victory with stunning front page pictures and graphics.

Mr. Obama, the first term senator from Illinois, was elected the 44th president, winning a larger share of the popular vote than any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Sen. Obama swept several key battleground states, scoring a landslide victory.

In addition to traditional Democratic strongholds, Sen. Obama and his vice-presidential running mate Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) beat Republican Sen. McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in at least nine states that went Republican in 2004: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Mr. Obama also beat Mr. McCain in the swing states of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, giving him an Electoral College total of 364 to Mr. McCain’s 173.

chicagoans11-18-2008_1
Happy Chicagoans celebrate historic victory of Barack Obama in his Hyde Park neighborhood. A restaurant frequently visited by Mr. Obama offered free breakfast in celebration of his win. The restaurant ran out of food. Photos: Kenneth Muhammad
“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America,” Sen. Obama told 250,000 cheering supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park election night.

“I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington; it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term, but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we, as a people, will get there,” he said in terms reminiscent of the last speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated in Memphis 40 years and seven months earlier.

Sen. Obama won 52 percent of the record 136 million votes cast, compared to 46 percent for Sen. McCain. Overall turnout was estimated at 64 percent, the most in a century. The total eclipsed the record 122 million votes cast in 2004.

According to an Associated Press poll, more than six in 10 voters listed the economy as their top concern. Ten percent of voters cited the Iraq war, while nine percent said terrorism and another nine percent said healthcare.

Mr. Obama’s political coattails were also long. Along with his victory, Democrats picked up 19 House seats and at least five additional Senate seats adding to their majorities, paving the way for new policies in keeping with the candidate’s campaign promises. In addition, Democrats won seven of 11 contested governor’s races.

Praise and congratulations came from all quarters. “In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance,” Sen. McCain told his supporters in Phoenix. “But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving,” Mr. McCain continued. “This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.”

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the first Black woman to serve as the nation’s top diplomat called the president-elect “inspirational,” saying his election marked “an extraordinary step forward” for race relations. She was filled with pride, she said, even if they belong to opposing political parties.

chicagoans11-18-2008

After waiting in line for hours for local newspapers, Chicagoans snatched up the Chicago Tribune. A woman interviewed by a Japanese news outlet wept as she described what the successful campaign meant.
“This was an exercise in American democracy of which Americans across the political spectrum are justifiably proud,” Ms. Rice told reporters, according to published reports, as she prepared to travel to the Middle East.

In the face of the Obama landslide, there were comparatively, few election glitches or voting problems, and there was apparently no evidence of the so-called “Bradley effect,” in which Whites mislead pollsters about for whom they intend to vote. Instead, national and state pre-election polls were generally accurate in reflecting voters’ preferences in the presidential contest.

The phenomenon is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, a Black man, who in 1982 lost the race for California governor after leading in the polls. There were similar contests over the following decade in which Black candidates facing White opponents had comfortable leads in polls, only to lose or narrowly win elections.

“PhotOBAMA: BETHUNE-COOKMAN MARCHING BAND FORMS IMAGE OF OBAMA”-FROM THE POLITICALCARNIVAL.BLOGSPOT.COM,NOV.24,2008

November 26, 2008

fl_dbnj2from thepoliticalcarnival.blogspot.com

Monday, November 24, 2008
PhotObama: Bethune-Cookman Marching Band Forms Image Of Obama

By GottaLaff

This was on Hardball today:

From Daytona Beach News-Journal November 23, 2008

Posted by GottaLaff at 7:54 PM
Labels: Barack Obama, marching band, photo
4 comments:
Mike said…
Cool

November 24, 2008 8:53 PM
GottaLaff said…
:) Yep.

November 24, 2008 8:54 PM
Cyndi said…
cute….is there a video?

November 24, 2008 10:10 PM
MJ said…
There is video!

November 25, 2008 11:06 AM

BROTHER MAULANA KARENGA ON OBAMA:”TOO COOL BARACK AND JUST-NOT-WITH-IT JOHN”-SAW ON STATEOFTHEBLACKWORLD.ORG,OCT.2,2008

November 26, 2008

FROM stateoftheblackworld.org

DEBATING DOWNWARD:
TOO-COOL BARACK AND JUST-NOT-WITH-IT JOHN
Los Angeles Sentinel, 10-02-08, p. A-7
DR.MAULANA KARENGA
They came to debate in the midst of the country’s and economy’s descent into depression or something precariously similar, a slow or quick road to ruin rooted in the chickens-coming-home-to-roost consequences of unregulated and unrestrained corporate corruption and greed, a trillion-dollar war, unjust and unjustifiable, and long-standing capitalist practices of privatizing social wealth, subsidizing corporate ventures and socializing corporate debt.
And so there was Barack Obama, standing tall and too cool, giving clear, cogent and confident answers and on the other side John McCain tense and cantankerous, exuding that wooden and “White is back” look, wallowing in war talk, pretending a vision he doesn’t have and promising a victory he can never achieve. He even refused to look at Obama, his superior opponent, sending a White Moose Lodge racial message to all those still looking in high and low places for racially satisfying scenes from “Gone With the Wind” or even “The Green Mile”.
But lo and behold, it’s a new day, the plantations have been burned or transformed into homes, hotels, hostels or tourist attractions; the people have left on the road to freedom; and the faithful retainer in his original form has been killed or otherwise silenced by the very people he served. For he saw impermissible things, and prophesied deliverance of the oppressed, divine damnation on the oppressor, and a new way for humans to relate and share in the world. And he had not even heard of Mr. Muhammad or Min. Malcolm nor studied liberation theology or visited that minister and church in Chicago some say we must not mention until the election is over. But the names of Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ deserve to be raised and praised and will last and have meaning long beyond the election. For they are an inerasable and undeniable important source of this turning point of history that we as a people have brought into being thru long, hard and relentless struggle.
But there was also a racial protocol aspect to Obama’s unwillingness to deliver the knockout blow everyone was waiting for. No doubt it has to do with his temperament and the lessons he recorded in his book about not threatening and scarring White folks. He recognizes their tentative and ambivalent embrace, their phobias about the angry, assertive, confident or capable Black man and their obvious and ongoing search for an alternative in the Reagan-reborn-ranger and the would-be wonder woman unraveling “across from Russia” as I write. Obama showed himself over-restrained by this unspoken racial protocol imposed on him. But if he is to win, he cannot again find himself repeatedly telling McCain he’s right when McCain is indicting him as naïve and lacking understanding when obviously the opposite is true. And he must not bend over backwards or forward to show White folks he’s not going to “go ghetto”, make the White House too Black or fail to make them feel they’re still his champion and in charge.
Let’s face it, there is, as we all know, no comparison between Obama and McCain, only serious contrast. And if Obama loses, it won’t be because he is not the best candidate by far, but because the White rulers and people of this country, who call on him to regularly declare his love and loyalty to it are not racially ready for Black excellence in places other than on the sports field, in entertainment or grateful service to them. So the lesson here is that Obama must fight for the space he wishes to occupy, for White America will not let him intellectualize or negotiate in niceness his way in the White House.
It is up to us and those of similar aspirations to ensure Obama wins, so that we can get beyond this early-man attitude about race and social and human reality and begin to build the good world we all want and deserve. But even if Obama wins and he should, it will not solve all of our problems or automatically mean the change we need will come in this country and the world. Indeed, in areas of equality and equal opportunity in this country and in certain areas of the world like Haiti and Palestine, it could complicate and further problematize the struggle for liberation. For as Obama himself has said, it’s not about him, but about us and all the people of this country who want another way to live and relate in this country and the world. It’s about us, making a decision to be free and self-determining in the fullest most expansive sense of the word and being willing to struggle to make it so. And here the lessons of history are clear and unmistakable.
This means his continuing the campaign and going into the debates with an attitude and will to struggle. It means his recognizing and addressing effectively the minds of the persons to whom McCain appeals, especially those to whom intellect is seen as arrogance, thoughtfulness as dullness, and deference as timidity. Also, it means standing ready for the attack on the low level that’s bound to come. And above all, it means that we who think critically and care deeply about life more than elections, and who know the inherent power and potential of an organized, aware and engaged people, must build a movement for serious and sustained social change.
Let me say here, I stand in the harsh winds of history with Frederick Douglass; so I don’t barbecue on the Fourth, wear or wave flags, whistle Dixie, defer to White supremacist fantasies, praise or pretend a perfect union that never was, hope for a harvest of fruit or freedom without hard work and struggle to bring it into being, or wish for an ocean of possibilities without the radical roar and awesome waves of resistance the masses of people make to create the good world we all want and deserve to live in. And I stand at the crossroads of history with Harriet Tubman, knowing that “freedom ain’ free”, that it is not about individual escape or comfort in oppression, and that once we have decided to be free we can’t half-step, stop half-way, turn around or run away from the heavy ethical responsibility placed on us by history and heaven. And that is to honor our divine nature to be free and flourish and together with others of like mind and heart and corresponding practice, create and share the good world we all must want, work and struggle for.
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor of Africana Studies, California State University-Long Beach, Chair of The Organization Us, Creator of Kwanzaa, and author of Kawaida and Questions of Life and Struggle: African American, Pan-African and Global Issues, [www.MaulanaKarenga.org; http://www.Us-Organization.org and http://www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org.

“BLACK AMERICANS CELEBRATE OBAMA’S VICTORY”-FROM NEWSDAILY.COM

November 26, 2008

NEWS-US-USA-POLITICS-MOODfrom newsdaily.com
Tammy Montana (C) cheers with other bar patrons as President-elect Senator Barack Obama gives his victory speech, in New Orleans, Louisiana November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Lee Celano

——————————————————————————–
Black Americans celebrate Obama’s victory

——————————————————————————–

By Matthew BiggPosted 2008/11/05 at 3:39 am EST
ATLANTA, Nov. 5, 2008 (Reuters) — In churches and bars, on the street and in their homes, African Americans celebrated Barack Obama’s historic presidential election victory on Tuesday with tears, horn blasts and shouts of joy.

NEWS-US-USA-ELECTION-BLACKS
Jackie and Thomas Wilson begin to cry after the announcement that Senator Barack Obama had been elected the first black president as Val Rice celebrates while waiting for the results at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

New York, people of all races streamed down from Broadway from Columbia University to
Obama’s campaign office at 105th Street chanting “O-ba-ma.”

Obama supporters drove through the streets of downtown Washington for hours, honking their horns and cheering. A crowd of several hundred people gathered outside the gates of the White House in the drizzle, beating a drum.

In Atlanta, at civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s old church, Ebenezer Baptist, a deafening shout greeted the announcement of Obama’s victory and rolled on for minutes.

“On the night before King was assassinated, he said: ‘I have been to the mountain top, I have looked over and I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you,'” Pastor Raphael Warnock said.

“Tonight we have seized the promise of America.”

And in Chicago’s Grant Park, Rev. Jesse Jackson stood among a crowd of tens of thousands of Obama supporters with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Jackson, who twice sought the presidency himself, witnessed King’s assassination in Memphis 40 years ago.

‘CIVIL WAR ENDED’

For anyone with a sense of America’s history of slavery and the 19th century Civil War that tore the country apart, Obama’s win was a landmark.

Slavery and its successor, a brutal system of racial segregation that prevailed in the South until the 1960s, long tarnished the country’s pride in democratic ideals.

“And so it came to pass that on November 4, 2008, shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern time, the American Civil War ended, as a black man — Barack Hussein Obama — won enough electoral votes to become president of the United States.” wrote New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

It was not just columnists seeing a moment to savor.

“This is definitely history in the making,” said elementary school teacher Sheneka Mayes, 32, in Atlanta. “This night will be burned into my memory and into the memory of my children.”

In a politically polarized country, many conservatives bemoaned the defeat of Republican John McCain but supporters of Democrat Obama delighted in his win, and many of them because he will be the first black president in U.S. history.

A big crowd held a candlelight vigil at King’s tomb in Atlanta, setting the election firmly in the context of the movement in the 1950s and 1960s to end racial segregation and win the right to vote for black Americans in the South.

“My grandfather was born a slave, so for me to see this happen means that there is hope for America, said Vanessa Ford, who works for Coca Cola.

‘UNBELIEVABLE NIGHT’

Later, thousands packed Ebenezer Baptist, listening to speeches and thumping gospel music from a choir dressed in black, and watching two giant TV screens scrolling results.

For many, Obama’s win was all the sweeter because it brushed away worries that weeks of opinion polls giving him a lead against McCain might have overestimated his support among the country’s white majority.

“This is a great night. This is an unbelievable night,” said U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was brutally beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, during a voting rights march in 1965.

“Tonight we can celebrate and thank God almighty. Martin Luther King must be looking down from the heavens and saying ‘hallelujah,'” Lewis said.

In New York, thousands of people were enthralled by a big screen set up on 125th street in Harlem, the unofficial capital of black America.

Cab drivers honked their horns, a city bus driver inched his bus through an impromptu block party and paused to high-five the throngs through his window.

In other East Coast cities including Boston and Miami, crowds of mostly younger revelers poured into the streets for impromptu celebrations.

In his home city of Chicago, Obama gave a victory speech to a crowd of more than 200,000. Many had waited hours to see him, sensing it would be a milestone in history.

For Dornise Pewitt, the election of a black man offered hope for her sons and daughter.

“Maybe people will be able to see them differently and look past the color of their skin,” she said.

(Additional reporting by Angela Moore and Chris Michaud in New York, Tim Gaynor in Phoenix, Sue Pleming in Chicago, editing by Frances Kerry)

Copyright Reuters 2008. See Restrictions for more details

Obama’s campaign office at 105th Street chanting “O-ba-ma.”

Obama supporters drove through the streets of downtown Washington for hours, honking their horns and cheering. A crowd of several hundred people gathered outside the gates of the White House in the drizzle, beating a drum.

In Atlanta, at civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s old church, Ebenezer Baptist, a deafening shout greeted the announcement of Obama’s victory and rolled on for minutes.

“On the night before King was assassinated, he said: ‘I have been to the mountain top, I have looked over and I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you,'” Pastor Raphael Warnock said.

“Tonight we have seized the promise of America.”

And in Chicago’s Grant Park, Rev. Jesse Jackson stood among a crowd of tens of thousands of Obama supporters with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Jackson, who twice sought the presidency himself, witnessed King’s assassination in Memphis 40 years ago.

‘CIVIL WAR ENDED’

For anyone with a sense of America’s history of slavery and the 19th century Civil War that tore the country apart, Obama’s win was a landmark.

Slavery and its successor, a brutal system of racial segregation that prevailed in the South until the 1960s, long tarnished the country’s pride in democratic ideals.

“And so it came to pass that on November 4, 2008, shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern time, the American Civil War ended, as a black man — Barack Hussein Obama — won enough electoral votes to become president of the United States.” wrote New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

It was not just columnists seeing a moment to savor.

“This is definitely history in the making,” said elementary school teacher Sheneka Mayes, 32, in Atlanta. “This night will be burned into my memory and into the memory of my children.”

In a politically polarized country, many conservatives bemoaned the defeat of Republican John McCain but supporters of Democrat Obama delighted in his win, and many of them because he will be the first black president in U.S. history.

A big crowd held a candlelight vigil at King’s tomb in Atlanta, setting the election firmly in the context of the movement in the 1950s and 1960s to end racial segregation and win the right to vote for black Americans in the South.

“My grandfather was born a slave, so for me to see this happen means that there is hope for America, said Vanessa Ford, who works for Coca Cola.

‘UNBELIEVABLE NIGHT’

Later, thousands packed Ebenezer Baptist, listening to speeches and thumping gospel music from a choir dressed in black, and watching two giant TV screens scrolling results.

For many, Obama’s win was all the sweeter because it brushed away worries that weeks of opinion polls giving him a lead against McCain might have overestimated his support among the country’s white majority.

“This is a great night. This is an unbelievable night,” said U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who was brutally beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, during a voting rights march in 1965.

“Tonight we can celebrate and thank God almighty. Martin Luther King must be looking down from the heavens and saying ‘hallelujah,'” Lewis said.

In New York, thousands of people were enthralled by a big screen set up on 125th street in Harlem, the unofficial capital of black America.

Cab drivers honked their horns, a city bus driver inched his bus through an impromptu block party and paused to high-five the throngs through his window.

In other East Coast cities including Boston and Miami, crowds of mostly younger revelers poured into the streets for impromptu celebrations.

In his home city of Chicago, Obama gave a victory speech to a crowd of more than 200,000. Many had waited hours to see him, sensing it would be a milestone in history.

For Dornise Pewitt, the election of a black man offered hope for her sons and daughter.

“Maybe people will be able to see them differently and look past the color of their skin,” she said.

(Additional reporting by Angela Moore and Chris Michaud in New York, Tim Gaynor in Phoenix, Sue Pleming in Chicago, editing by Frances Kerry)

Copyright Reuters 2008. See Restrictions for more details.


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