Monday, January 26, 2009

An African American is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America! ...will there be a woman in the near future?...



January 20, 2009 was an historic day in America. Barrack H. Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. This was a day that the country, old and young, black, white, yellow, red and brown, celebrated the inauguration of an African-American to the highest elected position in America. I am glad the we studied the Civil Rights Movement following our study of the election because it made the historical significance of Obama’s election more meaningful to you than it would have been without that background knowledge.

The following link will take you to that ceremony. It is too bad that Chief Justice Roberts flubbed his part… President Obama retook the oath the following morning to be sure it was administered correctly. Time will tell whether Obama’s call for change will actually result in meaningful change in how business is done in Washington D.C. and the country at large, but the fact that an African-American is now our President is a change that many only dreamed about. One of the highlights of this ceremony for me was when Obama made mention of how this day was dreamed of by those who had participated in the Civil Rights Movement decades earlier. Upon these words, A Black man and his wife, who were seated on the platform behind President Obama, rose and applauded. This man was John Lewis. Lewis is now a senator, but as a college student in the 1960’s, Lewis was a leader of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). In that capacity, Lewis had marched with Dr. King and the others, and he had been an integral figure in that movement. What a day January 20, 2009 must have been for him (…and the many other living participants of the Civil Rights Movement)! I only wish more people on the platform would have stood with him at that moment…

I hope you visit the site and watch the Inaugural Day festivities. I was fortunate to see Aretha Franklin in concert last year, so I appreciated her part in this ceremony. ...and how about Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman?!...The poem by Elizabeth Alexander was also significant. Please feel free to leave a comment.

3 comments:

Ms. B. said...

Mr. Filzen, one of the most moving parts for me was the benediction. I thought it more heartfelt and poetic than the poem.

The way the gentleman spoke showed his heritage and his education. It was looked back at all that has happened to make that day happen and yet it was able to look ahead also. He spoke for African-Americans, but as a white American, I thought he spoke for all in welcoming this new chapter of our history as a country.

I also appreciated that he was the only one to say, "God bless the whole world"...rather than just America. Whether one believes or not, shouldn't any god be looking out for all of mankind?

It was this gentleman who gave me the phrase, "character and confidence" that I wrote on the night before the inauguration.

President Obama is a fine speaker and so was this gentleman. I can only hope that we are ushering in an age of change where character, confidence, common sense, and knowledge matter more than whose one's parents were or the color of our skin.

What a world of hope that would really be!

Anonymous said...

Barter day was fun, and more people could of actually partisipated more, and it would of been more fun if more people had done that, but it was fun anyways! :}

Anonymous said...

i hope he will do a nice job at being president.so that in the future a woman could posibly be president or another black president.