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Current Political Races and The Joshua Generation

It’s going to be an interesting political race season. Economic woes shroud every race, and it’s open season on incumbents. What races are you closely following?

Speaking of politics, have you heard the term Joshua Generation?

In 2007, Barack Obama gave a speech in Selma, Alabama in which he spoke a great deal about the work and leadership of Moses, but more importantly Joshua (the one who fought the Battle of Jericho). “I thank the Moses generation; but we’ve got to remember, now, that Joshua still had a job to do,” he said.

Here is a larger excerpt:

“I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. I thank the Moses generation; but we’ve got to remember, now, that Joshua still had a job to do. As great as Moses was, despite all that he did, leading a people out of bondage, he didn’t cross over the river to see the Promised Land. God told him your job is done. You’ll see it. You’ll be at the mountain top and you can see what I’ve promised. What I’ve promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. You will see that I’ve fulfilled that promise but you won’t go there. We’re going to leave it to the Joshua generation to make sure it happens. There are still battles that need to be fought; some rivers that need to be crossed. Like Moses, the task was passed on to those who might not have been as deserving, might not have been as courageous, find themselves in front of the risks that their parents and grandparents and great grandparents had taken. That doesn’t mean that they don’t still have a burden to shoulder, that they don’t have some responsibilities. The previous generation, the Moses generation, pointed the way. They took us 90% of the way there. We still got that 10% in order to cross over to the other side. So the question, I guess, that I have today is what’s called of us in this Joshua generation? What do we do in order to fulfill that legacy; to fulfill the obligations and the debt that we owe to those who allowed us to be here today?”

In 2008, David Remnick, editor, The New Yorker, wrote an article called The Joshua Generation, which is about race and the Obama’s presidential campaign. He wrote:

“The civil-rights struggle is deftly recast in terms not of national guilt but of national progress: the rise of the Joshua generation. What the African-American left once referred to as the “black freedom struggle” becomes, in Obama’s terms, an American freedom struggle.”

Later, in Remnick’s biography about Obama, The Bridge, which hit bookshelves this past April, he wrote that Obama represents a new generation of Black politician, the Joshua Generation. These are the successors to the civil rights generation of Martin Luther King and Black nationalists as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. Remnick describes them as “the successful, talented, networking, and, in many cases, idealistic daughters and sons who benefitted from struggles that they could not have known firsthand.”

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. jen

    @YOGI – Thank you. That means a lot. I enjoyed reading that speech from Obamba in Selma again.

  2. Yogi♪♪♪

    You just blow me away sometimes Jen. What I miss on the national scene is the “Big Ideas.” We have a shortage of big ideas, some worry and wart over our President’s birth certificate. Some also seriously talk about denying children of illegal immigrants medical care.

    I’d never heard of the Joshua Generation but I love the concept. I love the concept of National Progress.

    wtg Jen!

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