Tag: African Americans
OBAMA AND THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE: A CONVERSATION
This is a conversation on the Religion and Ethics Newsweekly of PBS that I wanted to share with you. Here is the link to the video, and below is the transcript of part I.
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Now, a conversation about the spirit of the country on the eve of the Obama inauguration. Alice McDermott is a writer, a National Book Award winner, whose latest novel is “After This.” Rabbi Marc Gopin is director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University in Virginia. And Dr. Robert Franklin is president of Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Welcome to all of you. Bob Franklin, the mood of a country is an ambitious and sometimes elusive thing to try to get at. But what do you sense, especially among African Americans?
Dr. ROBERT FRANKLIN (President, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA): I think that Barack Obama’s election has evoked
“You can be anybody you want to be!”
I stood next to this family in the final moments when Obama was elected, right as they were announcing California and the West Coast. My Ruthie was capturing everything on film. We were in a room of over a thousand people all of whom had worked on the Washington regional campaign.
Look at the eyes, look at the faces. I think I have waited forty years to see these eyes, these looks of wonder, pain and joy, all mixed, as if it were a hundred generations of ancestors in their eyes.
I came of age and into political consciousness with the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The tragedy has weighed on me ever since, pretty heavily, for family reasons. It is they who were on my mind at that moment standing next to this lovely family all of us screaming at the top of our lungs!! I …
I MET JIM CROW AND SENATOR OBAMA IS LAYING HIM TO REST
I was phoning somewhere in the American South for Obama the other day. What an education for me! There were simple, poor families that have been energized by the campaign, volunteering, excited. There were some angry independents, a completely nuts Nader person who hung up on me after screaming about women getting 93 cents on the dollar.
And then there was “Jim Crow” himself, who I have always longed to meet. When I say “Jim Crow” I mean those people in the United States who have actively supported racial segregation their whole lives. They actively ensured through legislation in the late nineteenth century, referred to as the “Jim Crow Laws”, that blacks would remain segregated and unequal in the United States, in a steady reversal of the gains made by victory in the Civil War over slavery. The great President Woodrow Wilson was actually the first Southern Democrat to …