Few could have failed to have been moved by BARACK OBAMA’S passionate oration at the ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Selma Civil Rights march. The President is known for his skilful and emotion-packed oratory, but this time he was especially fiery, committed and convincing. He spoke of how it was, how it is and how it should be in words that moved many to tears.
Interestingly and typically Obama, in his speech he not only outlined the difficulties and obstacles faced by Afro-Americans, he also talked of the hardships faced by all minority groups – Afro-Asians, Latinos, the gay community, single parents, the unemployed, those with disabilities and more. His vision – like that of the brave Selma marchers – is a vision of an all-inclusive America; a far cry from the twisted ideas of 50s and 60s politicians like Alabama’s George Wallace.
Musically, the President left the podium to a 1964 song from one of soul’s (and I’m guessing Obama’s) true heroes – CURTIS MAYFIELD. The selected tune was THE IMPRESSIONS’ ‘Keep On Pushing’, lyrically as important now as it ever was…..
“I’ve got to keep on pushing, I can’t stop now. Move up a little higher, some way, somehow. ‘Cause I’ve got my strength and it don’t make sense not to keep on pushing”
Up in soul heaven dear old Curtis will be smiling!