Senator Barack Obama, the night after his first presidential debate, receives the Harold Washington Award. The award honors an individual who has contributed immeasurably to African-American political awareness, empowerment and the advancement of minorities in the electoral process.
He received the Phoenix Award at the 38th annual Legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner Saturday night. Obama is a member of the 40 year old group comprised of black congressional lawmakers.
After accepting the honor, Obama gave a campaign speech to the packed room of mostly African-Americans at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. His speech included promises of tax cuts, and help for the middle and working class Americans of all backgrounds. Obama lifted the serious tone with laughter when he conveyed Senator McCain was a man of change and a maverick who was stealing “my stuff.”
Actress and humanitarian Kerry Washington is another Phoenix Award Recipient. Washington received the Chair’s Award Saturday night. She is an Obama supporter on a high from the night before.
Has Barack Obama advanced the electoral process for minorities? Are the earlier efforts by other African- American civil rights leaders and politicians been forgotten or dwarfed by the Obama phenomenon?