President Obama’s eulogy for the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine killed during Bible study at the AME church in Charleston, was a powerfully put perspective on race, love, spirituality, justice, and activism. Obama even broke into singing “Amazing Grace” at the conclusion of his remarks.
The next two pastors to speak addressed Obama as the “Reverend President.” They may have been joking but they hit the nail on the head. There was a sincerity, truth, and fearlessness, even sacredness in the president’s words. He held nothing back. He was not being diplomatic or careful. Within a poetic frame, Obama managed to lay bare complex and hard truths with intelligence and compassion. His poetry made these truths accessible, deep, inspiring. Smarter and sharper pundits than I have already responded with articulateness and insight to the most meaningful piece of oratory I have ever heard Obama give. Listen to it and be moved to action.