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Tuesday, May 11, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Rudolph P. Byrd
Guernica (April 2010)

“After a little over a year in office, fierce and often unfounded attacks, and the painstaking process that eventually led to a victory for health care reform, perhaps now is a good time for President Obama to revisit the words of the open letter Alice Walker published the day after he was elected. Along with respectfully telling the soon-to-be president that he will never know the profoundness of his being elected president for “black people of the Southern United States,” Walker offers him some advice: make sure to make time for rest and play with family because, “From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is only what so many people in the world really want,” and to “remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing” and not to take on other people’s enemies, offering the Dalai Lama’s model for coexisting. It is, perhaps, a look into the evolution of an American icon known nearly as well for her fierce opposition to all forms of oppression as for her award-winning writing.”


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