Charleston speech echoes hope of the world seen in the eyes of celebrating Americans on election night.
It seems a long time since a brilliant young black orator was running for President of the United States saying, "Yes we can", a long time since election night 2008 when a gleam in the eyes of Americans young and old, black and white, said, "Yes, we did".
I wonder how many of them have been waiting this long for their first black President to be a black President.
My daughter, who was studying in America around that time, looked up from her phone at breakfast on Thursday and said to me, "You should watch Obama's Charleston speech." All I knew was that he had sang Amazing Grace, a daring thing for a politician to do, in a eulogy to the pastor who was shot with eight parishioners in their South Carolina church.
I called up the recording. If you haven't seen it, you should call it up too. It might just be history.
The first half is a eulogy to the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the second half is a moving, healing, inspiring address on America's condition and what needs to be done.
It is not Obama in full oratory, it is better. He is not in a stadium soaring off autocues, he is talking from the heart to a congregation in church.
Behind him, seated black preachers listen in awe. They know the President is not notably religious. He is making references to God but not in the way black preachers do. It is better.
He invoked the Christian concept of grace to explain the way the families of the dead, the church community, the conservative southern city of Charleston and the United States have responded to the hate crime.
"This whole week, I've been reflecting on this idea of grace," he said. Grace was not something earned or deserved. "Rather grace is a free and benevolent favour of God."
It could let the blind see. It had moved the Governor of South Carolina that week to call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capital.
With grace governments could do more for children in poverty, attending dilapidated schools, growing up without job prospects and learning to hate. Grace could do something about so many black men lost in prison, equip police to deal better with black youth. It might even move those who are "blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts on this nation".
Nine in a church, 12 in a movie theatre, 26 in an elementary school, to mention just the most recent carnage. Thirty Americans are killed with guns every day.
The President paused for a long time before he decided to sing. You could see him wondering if he could.
Commentaries in America this week have compared the speech to Lincoln's second inaugural, when the civil war was all but won and the President sought reconciliation. It was that good.
It could come to rank with Martin Luther King's speech at the Lincoln Memorial as an inspiring moment of modern times, but that will depend on whether anything really changes.
One commentary has called it the liberation of Barack Obama. For six years he has downplayed his race, believing it may be divisive and damaging to his role. The candidate for "change" became a diffident, distant President.
He made one attempt to do something about the gun laws and backed off too quickly, as he has done on too many problems domestic and foreign. His signature success, healthcare reform, was delivered so badly Democrats kept their distance from it in congressional elections.
But in the last few weeks things have been looking up for him. "Obamacare" has survived a challenge in the Supreme Court and now looks secure. He has been given trade negotiating authority by the Congress.
His tribute to Reverend Pinckney sounded at times like a personal epiphany. The pastor had been a state senator battling for a poor community against a Republican majority. "But he never gave up," Obama said.
"He stayed true to his convictions. After a full day at the Capitol he'd climb into his car and head to the church to draw sustenance from the community that loved and needed him. There, he would fortify his faith and imagine what might be."
Obama has just 18 months left. Words can be powerful and his might yet make him great.