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November 7th, 2008
05:12 PM ET

The Obama generation

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/07/art.obamamtveur.jpg]
Benjamin Ola Akande
Dean, Webster University School of Business & Technology

Dear Moyo, Anjola and Reni,

It’s 10:15pm Central Time, Tuesday November four, 2008 and history has been made. Barack Obama has just been declared the first African American President of the United States. Frankly, I never thought this day would come. They say more people voted in this election than any other in U.S. history. Today was an affirmation that America values ideas over fear. And tonight marks the emergence of the Obama Generation.

Many Americans have wondered,- some with awe, some with alarm – who is Barack Obama, this man with an African name. Where did he come from? To some, it seems that he appeared from out of nowhere to captivate the media and the masses all around the world. But, Barack obama has been emerging all along. To the African immigrants, obama is a familiar figure. His calm demeanor and thoughtful, wise perspective is a characteristic you will find among many Africans. His fluid ability to use the spoken word is a tradition that our ancestors have used for centuries to keep their dreams alive. During the campaign Barack spoke to the past and the future as if it were in the present. He reminded America of the power of promises and effectively painted a picture of a better way and better days ahead.

We, the Obama Generation, are members of a broadly defined group of immigrants, first-generation African Americans and their children, a rich mix of people, who call America their home but whose common denominator is their link to the African continent. President-elect Obama is one of us.

We, the members of the obama generation have succeeded in virtually every walk of life. We are a people tested, resilient, and fortified with a rich cultural diversity. We are a new generation of immigrants; many of us professionals, who arrived here with well-honed skills and lots of potential, bringing with us humility, temperament, strength and resolve. Many of us came from abject poverty with a hunger to make a living and soak up the goodness of America. Others came to gain the knowledge and wisdom that America has to offer. Barack Obama’s life story is familiar to us and not that exotic at all.

We are an optimistic lot. We believe America’s future can be even more successful than its past and its present. We bring different experience’s and perspective’s to the task of breaking that impasse that has gripped this nation in its recent past – lack of trust and a lack of the will to change. Ours is a generation that eats change for breakfast.

My dear Moyo, Anjola and Reni: today a man with the name Barack Obama–whose father journeyed here from western Kenya in search of knowledge–is to be the next president of the United States of America. His victory has granted you a future of unprecedented possibilities, along with newfound responsibility and now, it is up to you to find the balance that will bring to life your dream. Our dream.

Your loving dad,

Benjamin Ola Akande

November 4, 2008


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Derrick

    As a young american i am proud to be apart of the new generation. For so long elder generations has perceived us as apathetic and unaware of what is going on. Barack is the young intellegent leader America needs in this dark time of American history

    November 9, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  2. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Larry.............wow, are you mad about Obama.

    The rest of us embrace the new President and the hope for Change that he brings to this country and the World. I wish him all the best and will pray for you Larry.........

    November 9, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  3. Jeff

    People who have a problem with African in front of American,
    You I and a whole bunch of other AMERICANS voted for Obama to be President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
    But incase you people did'nt know he is the first AFRICAN AMERICAN to be president elect. And as a 54 year old white dude, a hinds 57 AMERICAN like every other person in this country except for NATIVE AMERICANS the only pure race of this great country! I am DAMN PROUD OF THIS DAY! FOR OBAMA HIS RACE AND ALL OF US AS AMERICANS!. Now maybe just maybe we can put this racial junk behind us and live as one people. Last I knew we all bleed RED.... WHITE AND BLUE!

    November 9, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  4. So. Padre Island, Texas

    Larry, Dear "Boy"– The "Seal of the Office" is available to Any Man or Woman who Earns his/her Right to it. Grow Up!

    November 9, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  5. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Whoa! that gave me chills! absolutely beautiful!

    November 9, 2008 at 12:08 pm |
  6. jessa

    As a canadian, neighbour and one of the many strong allies of the U.S, I am grateful and thankful for all of those who voted for Barack Obama. In my short 22yrs on this planet i have never seen until now someone who has impacted the lives of so many people throughout the world. He made us believe that there is hope for a better future not only in the U.S but the entire world. Again I thank all of you who voted for such a remarkable man.

    November 9, 2008 at 8:50 am |
  7. Garry

    I am Canadian and not since my youth which was the John Kennedy years have I seen so much hope in the USA with Obama elected President and perhaps started with those first Kennedy years.

    I am very pleased with USA as it has matured and envy you as we have not had the same chance in Canada to have such great leaders of late and wish you well !

    November 8, 2008 at 9:52 pm |
  8. Patrick of Ohio

    Okay, we get it. It's awesome that we have the first black man as president. Everybody is happy that the nation is for the most part not biased against races, and that white people have proof we're not all racists, and black people have proof they're not all stereotypes. I think that this current generation (the new voters and teenagers) all ready thinks of racism is a silly idea anyways. Really, we were just waiting for you people that grew up in the 70's and beyond to get it. Now that we're past that point, let's begin watching Obama, see how well he keeps to his 16 month withdrawl plan, the consequences, and the other policy he will make. Sure he's only president-elect now, but he's still a senator and now has a lot of influence and can begin trying to push proposals through congress. All ready Iran is mocking him and testing him. So let's be glad that the old folks can finally stop talking about racism and ignore the ignorant. Let us finally look past race and look at the world and the impending catastrophes of the future.

    November 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  9. Aynes

    I too thought we elected a president not an african american president.
    Sadly...I wish in my heart I knew that this president elect really loved the flag. I have seen him not even salute it or wear it....

    November 8, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  10. jim

    Barack Obama won the election by promising to give 45% of non paying taxpayer money or as I call it welfare check. It is an old trick that Hezbollah in Lebanon do by helping the poor with hand outs. Obama also won at a price. 92% of blacks voted for him. I don't believe they all voted for him based on his political postions. That goes to show that blacks are racist. It is unfortunate he got elected through deception.

    November 8, 2008 at 11:53 am |
  11. Becky Gonzalez

    As a hispanic woman I remember growing up in the 70’s believing I couldn’t dream too big because I was a minority and we were treated as second class citizens where ever we went. A high school counselor once told me “you’re a beautiful girl marry a rich man.” I was trying to get advice on how to get into a college.
    It has been a long road for me to knock on Hope and Faith’s door … but with Obama’s win this past tuesday I am hopeful and elated.
    I believe America is finally growing up. To not be judged by your race, sex, nationality or religion is truly what peace is made of. Peace to all Americans.
    Becky

    November 8, 2008 at 5:06 am |
  12. nelson

    This is one of the most incredible and exciting moments in time as the least qualified and the most inexperienced candidate was elected for the highest office of the United States and is'nt it funny that this title fell on an African-American. There has been so much talk about the brightest and best of America, but then those men/women are serving in our military who fully understand the cost of freedom. This past election will go down as the year the bar for excellence and the brightest and best fell to the point of No Experience Required.

    November 8, 2008 at 1:41 am |
  13. Ryan E. Mears, Architect

    05 Nov. 2008
    It has been 24 hours and the Nation has spoken. The end has come for some; a new beginning for others; but, I believe that both are true for all of us. The nation has reached this point in time; a time of a new beginning, which will be seen by future historians and humanity as the dawn of “racial blindness”. As humanity moves farther away from the persecutions of our racial past and into a future of racial unity; humanity will consolidate through natural physical integration. Just as modern man evolved from a singularity over 1000 generations ago, so will we continue our journey to a future singularity of “racial consolidation”! Man has now populated the earth, a racial wall has been breach politically and racial consolidation is well underway. When humanity reaches the “Promise Land”, 1000 generation from today, a total “racial consolation” will be completed and “racial blindness” will be achieved and humanity will be one race again. Ryan E. Mears, Duluth, MN

    November 8, 2008 at 12:34 am |
  14. Larry Robinson from Belton Texas

    To me, these words beautifully– with wisdom and passion– describe a proud man who just explained how blood kin will stich back together tethered pieces of our tired flag. As long as this generation breathes new life, America shall never die.

    November 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  15. Larry

    Who declared Obama the first african-american president of the united states? I thought he was the president-elect of the united states. So will the great seal of the office be changed to read as 'Seal Of The African-American President Of The United States'?

    There was no Barack Obama (African-American) as a choice on my voting ballot; does that mean we will do the voting all over again?
    I Thought we were voting for the President of the United States of America.

    November 7, 2008 at 5:46 pm |