BARACK OBAMA’S inauguration as the first black President of America represents a “victory of humanity” according to a senior Kenyan academic from Warwick University.
Professor John Oucho made the comments as a guest speaker at the media lecture series, Coventry Conversations as he assessed the future impact of the world’s most powerful, influential and captivating political figure.
He said that Obama’s inauguration as the U.S President fulfilled the dream of America’s Martin Luther King, Jr., himself a prominent leader of the country’s often contentious civil rights movement.
Prof. Oucho said: “It is not only a victory for America, but it is a victory for the whole of humanity. After so many dreams have been dreamt, Obama is the dream that Martin Luther was having.
“History was made yesterday with the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first black President of the world’s leading nation. People have seen what they thought was unbelievable in their lifetime.”
After being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States in front of the US Capitol, Obama’s inauguration speech called on the American people to earn their greatness, saying: “We must begin again the work of remaking America. From today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”
Prof. Oucho said that Obama’s victory and his campaign work resembled strong similarities with the political work of Kenya’s premier, Raila Odinga who was also an influential force in President Mwai Kibaki’s 2002 election victory.
“When Obama spoke yesterday, the message that came through was that the victory was not his,” Oucho claimed, “it was a victory for the American people, especially its youth.“They (both) talked about change, so Obama’s constituents were his youth. When campaigning against Hilary Clinton, the last bit of work he was involved in was community and youth work,” he added.
On the eve of his inauguration, President Obama recommenced his active involvement with youth work by helping to paint a room at Sasha Bruce House in Northeast Washington in honour of Martin Luther King.
Oucho said that President Obama’s road to his inevitable victory in the U.S elections over Republican candidate, John McCain was the “culmination of a long struggle”.
And although that struggle may be over with public approval figures running high, Prof. Oucho called on the President’s supporters to be patient, saying that Obama’s first one hundred days in office would “demand more of his practical rather than his rhetorical skills”.
Earlier this week an interview from 1964 between the BBC’s Bob McKenzie and Dr King was unearthed by BBC World News America showing the latter predict that an African-American President would be in power “in 25 years or less”.