President Obama can redeem the White House

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Alice Walker is the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. But Monday, I called her to talk about a true story.

The Obamas had just visited the White House. The first African-American elected president of the United States had visited his soon-to-be residence, a house built by slaves.

Walker told me: "Even when they were building it, you know, in chains or in desperation and in sadness, they were building it for him. Ancestors take a very long view of life, and they see what is coming." The author of The Color Purple, who writes about slavery and redemption, went on, "This is a great victory of the spirit and for people who have had to live basically by faith."

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