Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Obama as Joshua

Barak Obama just gave a great speech at the voting rights march commemoration in Selma, AL. It is 40 years since Dr. King gave his Moses speech, where he saw the promised land, but would not reach it. Obama, under the explicit direction of his pastor's father, himself a weighty church leader, said it was his duty as a member of the "Joshua generation" to go forward into the promised land. The greatest generation, Obama said – many of whom were in the room – had done 90% of the work of the civil rights revolution. It was up to his generation to do the last tenth.

Sen. Obama gave an excellent answer to the question "are you really black like us?" His grandfather was houseboy to the British colonial masters in Africa, but the American civil rights movement led him to dream dreams. His son, Barak Obama, Sr., came to America to study as a result. He married a Midwestern descendant of slave owners because of the civil rights dream. The fruit of that union is Barak Obama, Jr., U. S. Senator and presidential candidate.

Obama talked about jobs and health care, as any Democrat would. He also talked specifically about the scourge of absent fathers, the bane of the black community, which he knows well from his personal experience.

Forty years after Moses, the Joshua generation of African-Americans is poised to take their full place in the promised land. Barak Obama is the leading contender for the role of Joshua.


halifax said...

I told some of the students who went to Alabama with me over the Winter term about Obama and Clinton making appearances in Selma. They wondered if the candidates spent the night at the Best Western, like we did.

Anonymous said...

I thought Obama did a very good job with his speech. He did a lot in answering all the criticisms that had been leveled at him in the previous 2 months.

Gruntled said...

Agreed. It is pleasant to think about having a president who can compose a substantive speech and deliver it competently.