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Our President, Lifting All Voices as a Beacon of Hope

When the Nobel Peace Prize winners were announced, naming President Barack Obama, that was another moment of pride. The moment was not just for Black America, because most Black Americans and Black People around the world are a people in a continual state of ecstasy, but it was also for the world. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that with Barack Obama at the head of the country, America returns to the heart of the world.

One week before this announcement, the world watched as conservative Americans cheered when The United States lost its bid to host the upcoming Olympics. The conservatives used it as a moment to say that Obama had lost his golden touch and the world had rejected him. But somewhere I read in the Bible that God is not to be mocked, so one week later, as if to demonstrate to the world that God is in control, Barack Hussein Obama was a name to be revered around the world as a man of peace and power.

I got the news when I was driving to an early morning doctor's appointment when one of my sons called my cell phone. I answered and the voice said "Dad did you hear about President Obama?" My heart sank, momentarily, as I thought the worst possible scenario had happened. But no, he then said "Obama won the Nobel Peace prize" and we shouted together. "WOW!" Obama joins Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and South African Bishop Desmond TuTu and Kofi Annan, as Black recipients of the prize. He also joins two sitting presidents, Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt as recipients. President Jimmy Carter received it after he left office.

I later thought about all of the unrewarded moments in Black History that this man, Obama, helps make up for. When he speaks through words or action, he speaks for and lifts the voices of the millions lost at the bottom of the sea who didn't survive the middle passage. He speaks and lifts the voices of those who lost opportunities as slaves and descendants of slaves whose inventions they never got credit for. He speaks for those millions of marchers who got beaten down for trying to lift their voices in protest of the mistreatment of Black people in the slave era and the civil rights era. He speaks and lifts the voices of the millions who have never gotten their proper job or promotions on a job because their skin was Black.

Barack Hussein Obama speaks loud as his actions and accomplishments lift the voices of those who have been mistreated throughout the years. He speaks for those who have been mistreated by police officers, misjudged by Judges, miseducated by teachers and so-called educators who believed Black children didn't deserve the best because God made them different, when he made them Black. We are not inferior; we are just Black and different. And, oh yes, Black is still beautiful. Some people still believe that "when God made Black people he was just showing off."

As we ponder and bask in the glory of what God has given us, let us use this 'Obama moment' to teach our young that they can indeed be anything. They can achieve anything and rise to the highest heights by any man's standards, if they just apply themselves.

As for the detractors, I was taught that the devil can be found at every party, but he can't stop it, so party on and celebrate where God has brought us from and run on to see where he is taking us. As for me, I am thankful that God has blessed me to be in a business of lifting our voices as an attorney for 27 years and as a newspaper publisher for 20 years. I get to lift up voices so long as God allows, so in the words of the old spiritual, "I believe I'll run on and see what the end will be."

 

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