Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Everybody is smiling (and/or crying)

Barack the globe.

Today there was live coverage of the entire inauguration on one of the national TV networks. And the biggest network - Globo - broke into programming to show the swearing in of Barak Obama live.

From the Huffington Post:

The ascendance of the first African-American to the presidency of the United States was heralded as marking a new era of tolerance and possibility.

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who also inspired millions, sent a letter to Obama shortly before his inauguration. "Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done," Mandela wrote. "Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mister President, have brought a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place."

The anti-apartheid icon's sentiment was echoed in much of the world.

Alex Andrade, a 24-year-old unemployed black Brazilian, said Obama's rise has inspired Brazil's poor. "Blacks face so much discrimination here," he said, standing outside the Cantagalo slum, where ramshackle shacks line steep hills in Rio de Janeiro. "Now with a black man in charge of such an important country, it might help decrease the racism in Brazil."

One of our black Brazilian friends called today, in tears, to share her enthusiasm for the hope Obama's inauguration brings to her and other black Brazilians.

This is truly a big deal.

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