Obama's Speech on Race

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Barack Obama's age of innocence has surely passed, in this long, hard season of campaigning. And now his very candidacy may hang on whether the American people saw him yesterday rising to a higher, wiser plane.

At a podium in Philadelphia, Obama took straight on the issue he has tried to sail above: Race in America. His own black spiritual mentor. His own white grandmother. Their strengths and failings and love and anger — and the nation's.

This hour, On Point: A moment for the history books. Barack Obama and race in America.Guests:

Andrew Young, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, former mayor of Atlanta and U.S. congressman, and co-chairman of Good Works International.

Anna Deavere Smith, playwright and professor at NYU Law School and the Tisch School for the Arts.

Whit Ayres, Republican pollster and president of Ayres, McHenry & Associates.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly.

This program aired on March 19, 2008.


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