Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Perry County, Alabama declares "Barack Obama Day"

NPR reported this evening that the commissioners of Perry County (AL), population 11,861, have voted to institute Barack Obama Day as a county holiday. It will be celebrated each second Monday of November.

Brett Tannehill of Alabama Pubic Radio explains that the community, which lies in the so-called Black Belt, was central to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Further, 72.3% of the county's voters supported Obama in the race for President. Nevertheless, one county commissioner voted against the holiday. He explained that he opposed it because of the expense to the county.

According to the 2000 Census, 68% of Perry County's residents are black. The county seat is Marion, population 3,511.

Given the lack of a personal link to Obama--that is, he was not born or raised in Perry County-- it's interesting that the county would take this step. It strikes me as the sort of the strictly local action most likely to happen in a relatively homogeneous rural place, although it also seems possible that there might some day be a national Barack Obama Day.

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