There's so much excitement -- news, events and commentary -- surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama as president that it's tough to grasp it all. But here are links to over a dozen reads and photography views I've appreciated or found thought-provoking. Hope you'll check some of them out!
- President-elect Barack Obama is asking all Americans to invest in a community service on Monday, the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visit the Obama-endorsed USAservice.org to find a local volunteer opportunity to give back and help Renew America Together.
- We Are One, the HBO sponsored concert celebration on Sunday. An HBO site says the action starts at 2:30 p.m. (ET). This USA Today article says it'll air at 7:00 p.m... Either way, President-elect Barack Obama will be joined by a constellation of Hollywood and music stars including Denzel Washington, U2, Jamie Foxx, Beyonce, Herbie Hancock, Springsteen, John Legend, Tom Hanks, Steve Carrell, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Tiger Woods and many others. Also, CTV.ca offers a roundup of other celebrities who'll participate in more official ways such as Oprah, Aretha Franklin and Yale professor Elizabeth Alexander, who's been chosen by Obama to pen and deliver an inaugural poem.
- Jesse Holland, author of Black Men Built the Capitol, blogs about the ironic context of the space in which America's first black president will be sworn-in. Most of the great government buildings in Washington, DC were constructed by slaves. In his book, Holland tells the stories in great detail.
- Meet "The Beast" -- the custom Cadillac debuting on January 20. It's sleek enough to allow a newly minted President Barack Obama a fresh gangsta lean. Yet, Obama's presidential 'Lac offers top-secret security features.
- Courtesy of Politico.com, this PDF of a long-lost essay written by the future president's Kenyan father, Barak H. Obama, on African socialism after studying economics at Harvard.
- NPR invited notable poets and writers to submit Inaugural Poetry, with Nikki Giovanni, Suzan Lori-Parks, and Calvin Trillin heartily responding.
- At New York Times, favorite humor columnist Gail Collins nailed it on Imagining the Inauguration, suggesting the many ways that we'll "miss-remember" Obama's big day.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion writer Robin Givhan has penned First Lady as Fashion Leader at the Washington Post. About the tradition and psychical role Michelle Obama will have among first fashionistas Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, and other presidential honeys.
- At Democracy Now, Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson an journalist Glen Ford explore whether Barack Obama can address African American issues.
- Advertising columnist Stuart Elliott at New York Times offers This Is a Special Keepsake Inauguration Column, highlighting how major brand marketers from Pepsi-Cola to Ikea are marking (or marketing) the inauguration.
- Frontline provides wonderful preview video clips of its biographical DVD, Dreams of Obama. And at Time.com, you might like the Barack Obama in college photos taken by Lisa Jack.
- Considering an Obama themed menu for your inaugural celebration? Check out recipes for Kenyan Cabbage and Chicken Curry; popular Hawaiian Luau recipes at Aloha; Malaysian dishes such as Ginger and Soy Roast Chicken; and -- of course -- our beloved Chicago-style Italian Beef sandwiches!
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