‘striking the most sensitive chords’

CNN: Brazil’s cool and contentious relationship with the United States over trade and foreign policy has warmed a few degrees, analysts said Sunday, as President Barack Obama’s visit appeared to charm officials and crowds during his two-day visit to South America’s largest nation.

Sustained applause echoed through Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Theatre as Obama spoke a few words in Portuguese, made allusions to Brazilian culture and drew parallels to U.S. history.

…”It was an historic speech,” said Eduardo Eugenio Gouvea Viera, who represents FIRJAN, Brazil’s leading industry federation … Abdias Nascimento, a representative of Brazil’s Movimento Negro, said Obama’s speech was “profound.” “Obama succeeded in striking the most sensitive chords in the souls of Brazil and Americans,” he said.

….Earlier Sunday, Obama’s motorcade made its way up the winding, narrow alleys of Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious and celebrated shanty neighborhood, the so-called Cidade de Deus, whose brutal drug war and racial disparity became immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film, “City of God.”

The first family’s visit to a favela – a Portuguese word for shanty – was a symbolic gesture that reverberated through a nation known for its strong African heritage but with a tarnished record on racial and class discrimination.

Greeted by favela residents who cheered the arrival of the first family, Cidade de Deus schoolchildren watched curiously a rare and memorable scene began to unfold, as most Brazilians seldom see blacks holding positions of power.

First lady Michelle Obama, who wore the colors of the Brazilian flag, and daughters Sasha and Malia clapped enthusiastically to performances of capoeira and samba, some of Brazil’s best known African-influenced music, seeming at ease.

Brazilian newspapers reported that crowds cheered as the presidential motorcade moved on, some carrying banners that read “Obama, where are you, I am here just to see you.” One man held a sign which read, “Thank you Obama for making the White House Black.”

11 Responses to “‘striking the most sensitive chords’”

  1. 1 zizi
    March 21, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Very touching.

  2. 2 NewCenturyWoman
    March 21, 2011 at 12:33 am

    Oh, this news report made me tear up, especially the last paragraph.

    • 3 sherijr
      March 21, 2011 at 1:15 am

      I was just going to write exactly the same thing you wrote New Century Woman.. its very touching, I’m so proud of the things POTUS is doing, and I love how his presidency has given hope to so many folks around the globe.

  3. 4 HZ
    March 21, 2011 at 12:36 am

    This speech indeed was a very historic moment for the people in Brazil as well as for future generations in the United States. Oh, how I hope that we all will take away from this day the precious gift that we have been given in this gifted man, our President. I am sure that he carried around with him the many lessons that he learned from his precious Mother’s speeches to him, and ofcourse her experiences in being among so many diverse cultures during her lifetime. Oh, how she would be so proud to see him today. But we will cherish the gift that she gave to us. He once said in an interview when asked how would his mother react to all of this if she were here? He said, “Oh, she would be crying all the time. She would tear up in a minute.” Well, today we are the ones tearing up for Stanley Ann Dunham. God bless her soul.

    • 5 Eleroy
      March 21, 2011 at 2:47 am

      Shalom!!! Could not have it put it better HZ!!! This is a President to cherish and people the world over will remember him favorably for many generations. President Obama ROCKS!!!

  4. 6 Theo67
    March 21, 2011 at 12:47 am

    This is an absolutely amazing and touching article. “One voice can change the world” – indeed. This man is amazing. Thanks!

  5. 7 Shirley
    March 21, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Amen! Amen! There’s a man, that sits high, and looks low, that Is leading and ordering our President. Call me crazy, If you like, but I believe that, for sure :-).

  6. 8 Fred
    March 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

    this is very touching 🙂

    GOD BLESS YOU President;Mrs Obama and Malia and Sasha

    PLEASE GOD keep them safe and guide them;guide the President and his aides so that they make good decisions for our country and the world

  7. 9 Titti
    March 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I LOL and cried at the this.

  8. 10 Hachikō
    March 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    When I see or read about people’s reaction to him, I am sometimes moved to tears – as I am now.

  9. 11 Dorothy Rissman
    March 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    OMG! Chipsticks, so much information again. thank you.

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