Today is the birthday of author and 44th (and current) president of the United States, Barack Obama ( books by this author ). Born in Honolulu, Hawaii (1961), to a Kenyan father and a Kansan mother, he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review , served a term each in the Illinois Senate and . Senate before entering the White House in 2008. Obama's position at the law journal got him a book deal, originally to be on race relations in the ., but it turned out to be a memoir, entitled Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995). The Audacity of Hope (2006), Obama's second book, was released just months before he announced his campaign for the presidency, and it quickly became a New York Times best-seller. Since assuming office, he has authored the children's book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters (2010).
Ida Tarbell lectured on journalism and unfair business practices, and often spoke about sexual equality and the need for social reform. She even encouraged sewing girls to go on strike to improve their working conditions. She became so famous and influential that in 1914, Henry Ford tried to convince her to join his “celebrity-laden” “Peace Ship” to help end World War I. Tarbell found the idea preposterous and refused. She also had her critics, like Jane Addams, the progressive reformer, who admonished Tarbell for referring to the Women’s Suffrage movement as “unnecessary,” saying, “There is some limitation to Ida Tarbell’s mind.” Tarbell never supported women’s right to vote.
In the final stanza, the speaker reveals that she intends to leave behind all the effects of slavery and the history of oppression with intent to rise above it. She claims that she will leave behind teh “terror and fear” and that she will rise above the pain and the oppression “into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear”. The speaker does not intend to allow the hatefulness of society or the pain of the past to stop her from becoming all that she ever dreamed of being. For this reason, she repeats three times, “I rise”.