Of course you know that this post isn't about Fela Anikulapo-Kuti or his LP Black President.
What can I say? I never thought I would see this day as long as I lived. The whole idea that a Chicagoan would be elected President of the United States is odd enough, much less a Hawaiian. But a biracial son of a Kenyan immigrant and a white American woman, with a Muslim name, who grew up in Indonesia?! Who could have imagined it?
For those of us who are in interracial relationships Obama's triumph is especially sweet. It's not like Priscilla and I have had a hard time of it the last 23 years (it's not the 1950s, after all), but finally we feel like we've really, really arrived. Our daughters Ify and Aku have been especially ecstatic the last few months - Barack Obama after all is one of their own, or rather our own. In the last month Aku has spent 2-4 hours every evening after school down at the local Obama headquarters and walking door-to-door on behalf of the campaign.
Of course I don't think the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. I've always felt that real social progress comes when the masses of people organize in their own interests - against war and racism, for unions and justice on the job, in defense of women's rights and equality for gays. So while this may be a largely "symbolic" victory for us radicals and progressives, at least for one day the oppressed and neglected can hold their heads high.
I know this is an African music blog, but in my first post I reserved the right to write about other subjects. Thanks for indulging me this time, and anyway, if you're reading this, I'm pretty sure you're an "Obama person" (to the McCain supporters, if any, my condolences). To mark this joyous occasion, and courtesy of Steve Ntwiga Mugiri, here are a couple of tracks recorded by Congolese/Kenyan musician Samba Mapangala during his recent US tour. Click the link to Steve's blog to read more about them:
Samba Mapangala - Obama Ubarikiwe (Vocal Mix)
Samba Mapangala - Obama Ubarikiwe
Update: In the comments, Kreismyr passes on a link to this great video by Kenyan-American band Extra Golden:
Update 2: Thanks to Squeezyboy for tipping us off to this Kenge Kenge video here. And the video of the Samba Mapangala track is here.