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The Root: Obama Speech Stands in MLK's Shadow

In my latest post for The Root this Tuesday I write about President Obama's upcoming speech at the anniversary of the March on Washington and how President Obama has had to deal with the pressure of those who compare him to Martin Luther King Jr. when they couldn't be more different. One man was an activist. The other is a sitting U.S. president. Yet, the comparison for some remains.

Here's a snippet:

In my grandmother's Arkansas home hangs a portrait of President Barack Obama with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the portrait has written beneath the two men "We Have a Dream; the Dream Has Come True."

It was one of many paintings, posters, buttons, T-shirts and other products that came out in 2008 during Obama's historic election, tying the election back to King and his historic "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington in 1963.

Some felt the comparisons were premature, even inaccurate, but many simply did not care. The idea of a black president once seemed like a dream, but now it was realized. Expectations for Obama were high, but what we received after 2008 was a president often stymied by a gridlocked Congress, and a voice constrained by being the president of all and not some.

Yet the comparison with King and that portrait in my grandmother's home remains.

Read the full post at The Root.

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