A new President in America: Barack Obama wins!

On the early morning news today, we heard that Democratic Senator Barack Obama had achieved something no other black man in the history of the United States has achieved before him: he has become the next President of the USA.

Awesome.

If you want to watch his victory speech, you can find it on the BBC website: Video clip of Obama’s speech

Depending on your internet connection, it might take a while to run, and there may be lots of pauses. So if you get frustrated, you can read the text of his speech here: Text of Obama’s speech

Here is the last, particularly emotive bit:

“A History of Struggle

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the colour of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes, we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes, we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes, we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes, we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “we shall overcome”. Yes, we can.

A man touched down on the Moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes, we can.

This is our moment

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: yes, we can.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”

Now here’s hoping that the passion and excitement of his campaign can be sustained for the next four years, and that he is not going to let his people down.

2 thoughts on “A new President in America: Barack Obama wins!

  1. Great Comments…Regg…Today as a people I have hope that my nation will once again become a community member of people that care for one another…the one thing this past set of years has taught me is that all members of our nation must lift each other up not tear each other apart…YES we can be united and a force for joy and love in the world to see hope to comfort the damaged heart of humanity and love one it is now with the election of this man at this time possible that beauty and love and hope will not perish from our community…I will work with a sense of renewal not known to me in years…I will try and be an example of all that I hope for!

  2. I am very happy for you, Bobz; you sound far more optimistic, hopeful and at peace than you have in a very, very long time.

    I hope with all my heart that it will not take too long for the *positive change* your entire nation has been longing for to occur in your country.

    Like South Africa, the US has long needed a leader who can unite all the people, regardless of political persuasion, class, race, religion, in a common cause: achieving peace and prosperity for *all* citizens of that country by emphasizing those good old fashioned values of compassion, kindness, forgiveness and community spiritedness.

    You have now made your choice of that new leader: we will make our choice next year.

    Here’s holding thumbs that all will be well in both our countries.

    Love and hugs across the many miles.

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