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While many Americans were thrilled when Barack Obama became president, one woman in particular was ecstatic.
"A black president - it's almost still hard to believe," says Mavis Staples. "It means the world to me. I've been so happy since November, I'm going to do a cartwheel."
If anyone has reason to be cheering for Obama it's Staples. The youngest sibling in legendary family band the Staple Singers, this gospel and soul diva played an integral part in the 60s civil rights movement. She marched alongside Martin Luther King, who was a close friend of her father, and lent her deep, contralto pipes to events supporting African-American rights.
And when Obama was elected president, a dream came true. "I walked through the house and talked to myself out loud," she recalls, on the phone from her Chicago home. "I talked to my pops, too, and to Dr. King, and I said to the Lord, ‘Thank you, Jesus - this is something I thought I would never see in my life."
As enthusiastic as she is, she's the first to admit the battle for equality is not over. Unfortunately, she says, other African-American artists are partly responsible for holding things back.
"They've been so busy getting the bling bling and getting these companies to make records for them - they get one big hit and the company is through with them," she says. "All they think they can do is play basketball and sing and dance. They haven't used their brains for anything else."
This is precisely why Staples keeps plugging away at age 69. If she doesn't sing her freedom songs - her last studio album, 2007's We'll Never Turn Back (Anti/Epitaph) was all about the civil rights movement - then no one will.
"I worry," she reveals. "Who's going to carry on? I'm keeping my father's legacy alive, but who's going to keep mine?"