A Pragmatic Precedent

February 9th, 2009

Guest Blogger: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Writer, Host, & Executive Producer of Looking for Lincoln

The following is an excerpt from a New York Times Op-Ed piece by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and John Stauffer (published January 18, 2009):


    UNTIL a martyred John F. Kennedy replaced him, Abraham Lincoln was one of the two white men whose image most frequently graced even the most modest black home, second in popularity only to Jesus. Perhaps none of his heirs in the Oval Office has been as directly compared to Lincoln as will Barack Obama, in part because Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation began freeing the slaves descended from the continent on which Mr. Obama’s father was born, and in part because of Mr. Obama’s own fascination with Lincoln himself.

    Much has been written about what Mr. Obama thinks about Lincoln; but not much has been said about what Lincoln would think of Barack Hussein Obama. If his marble statue at the Lincoln Memorial could become flesh and speak, like Galatea, what would the man who is remembered for freeing the slaves say about his first black successor?

Read rest of article.

Looking for Lincoln premieres Wednesday, February 11 at 9:00 pm.