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This is not a political endorsement: But it is a celebration of the culmination and success of an earlier fight on behalf of human exceptionalism—Abolitionism and racial equality.

Abraham Lincoln who grew into abolitionism during his presidency, is smiling tonight as the first African-American in history accepts his party’s nomination to be its candidate for President of the United States. So is the great William Lloyd Garrison, who not only stood for abolition, but full equal moral worth between blacks and whites—and men and women—at a time when only a very few did either.

Ditto the great Frederick Douglas, who escaped slavery and became a clarion beacon for equality.

And Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who before she was a feminist, cut her teeth in the abolitionist movement.

Also, Booker T. Washington, whose great granddaughter I met a few weeks ago—living history—who at a time of vicious Jim Crow oppression, led the country toward a better time.

And of course, Martin Luther King, who on this day 45 years ago, gave us a dream we could all embrace.

It took hundreds of years and hundreds of thousands of deaths to get here. But perhaps the time has come when those incredible words can at last be spoken without reservation: “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

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