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Obama's victory gives hope to all; Faiths IN OUR CITY.

Byline: BISHOP JOE ALDRED

IN A few days' time, Barack Hussain Obama will become the 44th President of the United States of America.

Hope has struck a decisive victory over fear, pessimism and cynicism.

Here is proof positive that with faith in God and hard, skilful work, nothing is impossible.

The euphoria that has accompanied the elevation to the presidency of this community organiser turned lawyer, has remained constant ever since November 4, 2008, when Obama won a spectacular victory over his Republican rival John McCain.

The mood on election night was summed up in the sight of the reverend Jessie Jackson in tears as he witnessed the Obama victory speech. It was as though, in that moment, Jackson felt the weight of history bearing down upon his shoulders. His tears of joy expressed for him, his generation and generations before what words could never so adequately do. It was, and continues to be, a truly spiritual and inspirational moment.

Before this it was assumed that the ultimate office, the presidency, in the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America, was beyond the reach of black Americans.

After centuries of racial oppression, segregation and diminished opportunities for black people, after years of a Civil Rights Movement that cost many their lives, at the 44th attempt, America has finally chosen someone who is not white to live in the White House.

It ought not to have taken so long.

Yet, few, black and white, including people of faith, believed they would live to see this day.

That it took America so long can be put down to one main factor: racism.

Somehow, although it is written in the American Constitution that all are created equal, the country found it impossible to live up to its creed, as Dr Martin Luther King told the world before his untimely death.

It would be tempting to believe that since finally a black American has been elected president, since a black man will now be the most powerful leader in the world, that racism has been conquered. I fear not.

Barack Obama will not be made president on January 20 because racism has been banished from the face of the earth.

He will be president because he had the vision and courage to believe that nothing is impossible, and that we should never allow others, or history or expectorations to determine the boundaries of our hope and aspiration.

From now on, let the answer to every challenge be the three simple words: "Yes we can!"
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 17, 2009
Words:422
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