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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: US: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" at Charleston funeral

Saturday, 27 June 2015

US: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" at Charleston funeral

Obama at the funeral yesterday

President Barrack Obama lead thousands of mourners in Singing “Amazing Grace” on Friday at the funeral of a slain pastor in the Charleston massacre last week and he urged Americans to eliminate symbols of oppression and racism, including the Confederate flag.

Obama called the flag "a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation."

"For too long we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens," Obama said in his eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, 41, of Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

At the end of his speech, Obama launched into a rendition of the 18th century hymn, written by a former slave trader after his conversion to Christianity and often associated with African-American struggles. It was a poignant scene for America's first black president who has often been reluctant to play up his racial heritage.

For a moment, he was alone on stage intoning the hymn before purple-clad ministers beside him smiled, stood up and joined him. Then a church organ kicked in and the mostly African-American crowd of about 5,500 people added their voices.

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