An Inauguration for the Ages

An Inauguration for the Ages

The spirits of the civil rights movement–and movements for social justice everywhere–were with Obama on this historic Inauguration Day. Artist John Mavroudis imagines the occasion.


Throughout this extraordinary election, it often seemed as if history itself were campaigning alongside Barack Obama.

It was on August 28, 2008, on the forty-fifth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, that Obama accepted the Democratic party’s nomination, becoming the first black American to be a major party’s presidential candidate.

And on January 20, 2009–one day after Martin Luther King Day–Obama will be sworn in as the first black president of the United States. No doubt the spirits of the civil rights movement, and of movements for racial justice everywhere, will be with him then.

Artist John Mavroudis‘s cover illustration for this week’s print edition of The Nation imagines this inauguration–one witnessed not in flesh and blood, but in the bonds of justice and peace. To identify the historical figures, match the list of names below with the diagram at right.

 1. Barack Obama

 2. Michelle Obama

 3. Martin Luther King Jr.

 4. Thurgood Marshall

 5. Rosa Parks

 6. Barbara Jordan

 7. Cynthia Wesley

 8. Carole Robertson

 9. Denise McNair

10. Addie Mae Collins

11. Emmett Till

12. Susan B. Anthony

13. C.T. Vivian

14. James Meredith

15. Homer Plessy

16. Harvey Milk

17. Ida B. Wells

18. Malcolm X

19. Bayard Rustin

20. John Lewis

21. Mahatma Gandhi

22. Abraham Lincoln

23. Frederick Douglass

24. Cesar Chavez

25. Sojourner Truth

26. Nelson Mandela

27. Stephen Biko

28. Oliver Brown (Brown v. Board of Education)

29. Chief Joseph

30. Lyndon Johnson

31. Medgar Evers

32. Rev. James Reeb

33. Fred Shuttlesworth

34. W.E.B. Du Bois

35. Ralph Abernathy

36. Viola Gregg Liuzzo

37. Marcus Garvey

38. Andrew Goodman

39. James Chaney

40. Michael Schwerner

41. John Brown

42. Jackie Robinson

43. Dolores Huerta

44. Mary White Ovington

45. William Lloyd Garrison

46. Wang Dan

47. Stephen Samuel Wise

48. Harriet Tubman

49. Dred Scott

50. Booker T. Washington

51. David Richmond (and)
52. Joseph McNeil (Greensboro Four)

53. Martin Delany

54. The Little Rock Nine

55. William Still

56. Thomas Garrett

57. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

58. Samuel Burris

59. Thomas Paine

60. Abigail Kelley Foster

61. Jesse Jackson

62. Eugene V. Debs

63. Lucretia Mott

64. Paul Robeson

65. Henry David Thoreau

66. Shirley Chisholm

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