Friday, November 7, 2008

The speech should be a book

The timing couldn’t be more perfect. Black History Month has just finished in the UK. My son stood up in class to talk about Rosa Parks. Then, just a few days later, came Obama’s magnificent speech and I was able to show him that paragraph in which he talked about 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper. '“She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "we shall overcome.” ' It’s a moving and wonderful feeling when your own children’s lessons at school, and real, living history outside the classroom, coincide.

But that speech. Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture was published as a booklet; so was Doris Lessing’s last year. I know Obama’s is available over and over again on the Net and was printed in some newspapers; yet, given its historical importance, and majesty, is there not scope for a high quality commemorative edition of some sort, perhaps with a brief biographical sketch of Ann Nixon Cooper too?

While we’re on the subject, Overlook’s Peter Mayer, held an all-night, celebratory election party at his home. “We had quite a good one. Now people are trying to figure out what to do until he becomes President. We were going to serve champagne, but we moved to Prosecco because we thought it was more appropriate to the times we live in. People believe he is going to be more a more social President than Bush and his crew; however, I don’t think anybody thinks he can fix anything quickly. But I think the whole world is happy.”

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