Monday, January 7, 2008

Slavery and Today

And I believe there is a great deal of truth to the analysis of Obama's magic comes from not being the descendant of slaves, but the son of an immigrant to the US. The descendant of slaves here in America could not be as genuinely utopian, hopeful, or optimistic as Obama. We've lived in the US since the end of the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves -- it really wasn't that long ago, only 133 years. (Living in Greece, you get a feel for the passing of time and 133 years means great grandparents, possibly great great grandparents...not millennia.)

I think it will take millennia before other African Americans can truly feel the hope and optimism that Obama speaks of everyday. Just because slaves were freed, doesn't mean that Blacks weren't still slaves. It took until June 19, 1867 before the slaves of Texas learned that legally they were no longer slaves. Heck, January 1, 2008 was the 200th anniversary of the end of the Atlantic slave trade, but there were no celebrations in the US (at least none that I read about on the Internet) and I haven't read about plans for future commemorations.

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