MADELEINE BRAND, host:
Back now with Day to Day.
Dr. BENJAMIN OLA. AKANDE (Dean, School of Business and Technology, Webster University): Dear Moyo (ph) and Jola (ph), and Rene (ph).
BRAND: On election night, Nigerian-born Benjamin Ola. Akande wrote a letter to his three daughters.
ALEX CHADWICK, host:
He is dean of the School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St. Louis.
Dr. AKANDE: We are members of the Obama generation, a broadly defined group of immigrants, first-generation African-Americans and their children, a rich mix of people who call America their home but whose common denominator is their link to the African continent. President-elect Obama is one of us. Many Americans have wondered - some with awe, some with alarm - who is Barack Obama, this man with an African name? Where did he come from?
To the African immigrant, Obama is a familiar figure. His calm demeanor and thoughtfulness, his wise perspective is a characteristic that you will find among many Africans. His fluidability (ph) to use the spoken word is a tradition that our ancestors have used for centuries to keep their dreams alive. We are a people tested, resilient, fortified with a rich cultural diversity, many of us who arrived here with well-honed skills and lots of potential, bringing with us humility, temperament, strength and resolve. Many of us came from abject poverty with a hunger to make a living and soak up the goodness of America.
Barack Obama's life story is familiar to us and not that exotic at all. We are an optimistic lot. We believe America's future can be even more successful than its past and its present. We bring different experiences and perspectives to the task of breaking that impasse that has gripped this nation in its recent past, lack of trust and a lack of will to change. Ours is a generation that eats change for breakfast. And so my dear Moyo, and Jola, and my little Rene, today a man with the name Barack Obama, whose father journeyed here from western Kenya in search of knowledge, is to be the next president of the United States of America. His victory has granted you a future of unrepresented possibilities along with new found responsibility. And now, well, it's up to you to find the balance that would bring to your life your dream, our dream. Your loving dad, Benjamin Ola. Akande.
CHADWICK: Benjamin Ola. Akande dean of the school of Business and Technology at Webster University in St. Louis with a letter to his daughters.