Barack Hussein Obama II
born August 4, 1961
The brand new President Elect of the United States of America! That is something that I think deserves some special attention…the first African American President and he is only 47 years old! I am not an American, I don’t know much about politics, but I know what a big deal this is. This is a smart man, he is well educated. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School he was a civil rights attorney and served three terms in the Illinois Senate. He is married and has two beautiful daughters, Malia Ann, 10 and Natasha (Sasha), 7.
This is definitely a big moment in American history. Only 2 years after Obama was born, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. That dream has in part been realized 45 years later!
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, 4 months before Obama’s 7th birthday.
“I Have A Dream” — Martin Luther King Jr (August 28, 1963)
(Portions of the great speech below)
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
(for the full speech text click here)
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free.” One hundred years later, there was still tremendous racism and segragation in the nation. Fourty five years later, The United States of America have elected an African American man to be their President, their Commander in Chief. It is an historical moment. It may very well be a defining moment in this era for the U.S.A.
I pray for that nation, for our neighbors to the south, one of the most powerful nations in the world. I pray for the Obama family, especially for their safety as there may be many citizens who are not happy about the outcome of this election. Obviously the U.S.A. has come along way in the last 145 years, but there are still those who have not come that far and will still judge a man on the colour of his skin and not on his character. I will pray for those as well, for enlightenment, that they will see the man and not his skin tone. And I pray that “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
November 6/08 I just wanted to add one more thing…
I would direct you to a post by Beth Moore in regards to the President-elect. She has, as usual, articulated the feelings of many Christians about the election results. I am always amazed at how clearly she speaks the vision given her by God. She emphasizes the importance of unity and prayer.
“Please also join me in the active and deliberate pursuit of unity and purity in the Body of Christ at this historical time in our country. I implore you in Jesus’ Name to have zero tolerance for prejudice whether it is regarding party-affiliation, color (whether you are Black, White, or Brown), economics or the like. Disagreement is not sin. Prejudice is. Satan has plotted events and planted attitudes that, should he be successful, will result in havoc. We must not stand for his schemes or cooperate in a single way…..”
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matt. 12:25)