Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign boosted-no, it actually created-the careers of a whole cadre of black political reporters.
Barack Obama’s historic capture of Oval Office? Well, not so much. [...]
A generation ago, as the peripatetic preacher crisscrossed the country to the chants of “Run, Jesse, Run!” black journalists-among them Gwen Ifill of The (Baltimore) Evening Sun, Julie Johnson of The (Baltimore) Sun and later The New York Times and ABC News, George Curry of the Chicago Tribune, Ron Smothers of The New York Times, Milton Coleman of The Washington Post, Kevin Merida of The Dallas Morning News and Kenneth Walker of ABC News-traveled along, reporting and interpreting the historic political campaign.
Nearly a quarter century later, Barack Obama made the same primary run, and it was not the symbolic stab at the White House that Jackson’s represented [...]
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An Open Letter to Barack Obama
By: Alice Walker
Dear Brother Obama,
You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear.
I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters.
I would further advise you not to take on other people’s enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise [...]
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