|Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-24 19:21Z by Steven|
The New York Times
Peter Henry, the son of Dora Johnson, looking over a wall near 27th Street and President Barack Obama Highway in Riviera Beach, Fla., that once separated black and white neighborhoods.
Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times
A main thoroughfare in the predominantly black town of Riviera Beach, Fla., was once called Old Dixie Highway. But now the road has a new name: President Barack Obama Highway.
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The rechristened road runs beside a railroad freight line, slicing across a modest corner of Palm Beach County and a considerable section of the Southern psyche. It used to be called Old Dixie Highway.
But now this two-mile stretch, coursing through the mostly black community of Riviera Beach, goes by a new name. Now, when visitors want to eat takeout from Rodney’s Crabs, or worship at the Miracle Revival Deliverance Church, they turn onto President Barack Obama Highway.
Our national journey along this highway is nearing its end, these eight years a blur and a crawl. That historic inauguration of hope. Those siren calls for change. The grand ambitions tempered or blocked by recession and time, an inflexible Congress and a man’s aloofness.
War, economic recovery, Obamacare, Osama bin Laden. The mass shootings, in a nightclub, in a church — in an elementary school. The realization of so much still to overcome, given all the Fergusons; given all those who shamelessly questioned whether our first black president was even American by birth.
His towering oratory. His jump shot. His graying hair. His family. His wit. His tears.
The presidency of Mr. Obama, which ends in three months, will be memorialized in many grand ways, most notably by the planned construction of a presidential library in Chicago. But in crowded and isolated places across the country, his name has also been quietly incorporated into the everyday local patter, in ways far removed from politics and world affairs…
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