The Quickening – Barack Obama’s Legacy As the First Black President of the United States

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With Barack Obama now the next elected President of the United States, many are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that life can now continue–maybe not as we have known it, whether for good or bad, but we can begin to live again. The collective sigh of relief in the air is palpable as we look forward to a future without Sarah Palin and of course, without the current reigning administration. I overhear random conversations in coffee shops and bars where people are talking about how well Obama communicates. It reminds me of the first day after a long, hard New Eve, where people reminisce about the past, and, collectively, are hopeful of the future.

I was born in 1965, a few short years after the death of JFK, and in my forty-three years I can remember those times in my life when I felt a significant change was taking place in the world; Watergate and Nixon’s tearful apology (too little too late), the Cold War, Ronald Regan’s Presidency (they said it would lead to nuclear war…), Regan’s attempted assassination (… and this for Josie Foster – WTF?), the assassination of John Lennon (no more Beatle’s reunion), Lech Walesa ‘s Solidarity — the fall of communism or more succinctly, the ‘fall of the wall,’ Bob Geldof and his band of merry men holding a Live Aid concert to end hunger in Ethiopia (the first of many concerts to come for world causes) and more recently, the attack on the World Trade Centre (airline travel will never be the same…).

Barack Obama is more than a man; he’s a significant world event. When I think of Barack Obama becoming president, I’ll always recollect his acceptance speech, and how gracious he was while Oprah watched on, eyes glazed with tears of relief and happiness leaning on that ‘guy’, Jesse Jackson’s tearful sound bites on CNN, as well as numerous celebrities and public figures citing how Martin Luther King Jr.’s words have finally come full circle. I’ll also think of the View’s Sheri Shepherd who, with tears in her eyes, can now tell her son there are no limitations in his life.

Maybe it was time? Barack Obama is more representative of the population of the United States nowadays than a rich old white guy. Think about it — who represents the trying economy more than a working class guy raised by his grandmother after being abandoned by his father early in life and left with a single mom? That says hardship to me and the zeitgeist of what is now and what is to come is definitely ‘hardship and future trials.’

Maybe there was a reason John McCain didn’t have as much money to spend as Barack Obama’s campaign. Maybe the Republicans didn’t want to throw anymore good money after bad? Not to disparage John McCain, whom I think is a pretty decent fellow, especially in light of his concession speech in which he handled a miserable Republican crowd in Arizona. And I know the rest of the world is not only relieved, but also pleased. They’re hoping the U.S. troops will finally be pulled out of Iraq and that employers will commence hiring again, and maybe, just maybe, there’s hope for people to keep their homes.

What else can we look forward to with Obama as President? Maybe Barack Obama will put Hillary Clinton in charge of healthcare; God knows it’s long overdue for the richest country in the world to have a public healthcare system. And maybe, just maybe, Obama will create an inclusive society where people of both parties will come together and create a better country. It’s long overdue.

Suzanne K. is a freelance writer and proprietor of http://www.TeddysTogs.com

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