Jesse Jackson, Civil Rights Leaders Speak Of Obama With Awe

12/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • The Daily Beast

"I've been able to see our nation get better," the Rev. Jesse Jackson muses, in joyful anticipation of Barack Obama's impending presidential victory. Jackson is reflecting on what he called "sixty years of battles to democratize democracy." Tuesday's results, he tells me, will mark a great victory, moving toward "a triumph over the deepest sin in the American soul." Decades of protest and reform can now give way to a new phase of what he called "bridge building," with Obama standing squarely at the moral center of the American dream. ...

The hard feelings have apparently disappeared, at least for the moment, among the veterans. After talking with a small but politically diverse group of older black activists, one is struck instead by their descriptions of the awe they feel at what is about to happen--an event some of them barely imagined they would live long enough to see. Although they still talk about anxieties and misgivings, these get dwarfed by the grandeur of the moment.

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