Black president

A selection of front pages of Italian newspapers covering Barack Obamas victory in the U.S. Presidential election. (AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino)

A selection of front pages of Italian newspapers covering Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. Presidential election. (AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino)

Today will be a day long remembered. Sen. Barack Obama is the country’s first nonwhite chief executive. The most powerful nation in the world has bowed to five hundred years of European power.

Obama is certainly gifted a unique opportunity at a great legacy. He follows a leader who is maligned globally and will have hefty majorities in the House and the Senate. If he truly takes on his rhetoric of bipartisanship, he can near the weighty expectations asked of him.

Regardless, today will be a day I will recall with my children.

I’ll use Larry Eichel’s words from today’s Inquirer:

Step back for a moment and consider what happened yesterday.

The people of the United States have elected an African American man named Barack Obama as their president.

Given the corrosive role of race in the American saga, this is a seminal event. Not just for this country, but for any country.

There does not appear to be a single instance in “the entire history of the human condition,” to use the words of writer Shelby Steele, in which a major nation-state has chosen to put a member of such a historically downtrodden minority in charge.

“It says to everyone in America, ‘You can be president someday,’ ” said historian Douglas Brinkley of Rice University. “It plays into our national mythology in a very real and profound way. . . . This isn’t affirmative action. This is winning.” The rest here


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