Last week the employees of the Africa Regional Service-Paris (ARS) Team received a Group Meritorious Award in recognition of the sustained, exceptional work done throughout the yearlong 2008 U.S. presidential election. In support of U.S. Missions in Africa and Haiti, ARS strived to explain the historical election of the first Black American president to people in their host countries. This election had special resonance to people all over the world and a special resonance for Africans, who have always taken a special interest in America's racial relations. Barack Obama's election as the first Black American president was therefore particularly significant for them, and their interest in a man whose father and family hailed from Africa was insatiable. State Dept. photo
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