Last week was one of the most successful since Pres. Obama assumed office. In the span of five days, the Senate fast-tracked his trans-Pacific trade deal, and the Supreme Court not only upheld a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act, it also made same-sex marriage the law of the land, a move the administration championed.

Then on Friday, Pres. Obama eulogized the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston, South Carolina, in a speech lauded not only for its remembrance of the late pastor and state senator, but also for its call-to-action on race.

"I think on Friday, Obama finally let his hair down. He became — as we've been joking all weekend — 'Reverend President Obama,'" the Rev. Emmett G. Price III said Monday on Boston Public Radio. "His eulogy was masterfully crafted. I think it will go down in history as one of his most powerful moments."

"We hadn't heard Pres. Obama make a statement like this since he was a candidate," Price added.

"It was a homily and a public jeremiad. He owes that to Rev. Wright. And then to break out in song! He hit all the key points," the Rev. Monroe said, also on BPR. "He starts out saying that the Bible is about 'hope,' and talked about not only God's grace but the Confederate flag, gun violence, racism."

Both Price and Monroe agreed that now — maybe at long last — there's a nationwide imperative to talk about race in a way that never quite materialized after the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and so many others.

"Race has been the topic, most definitely," Monroe said. "We all can begin to have that conversation, whether we're on opposite sides of it or not."

"The conversation is happening, and as a result of his eulogy, as a result of a number of other things — including Bree Newsom taking down the flag — this conversation is forced to happen. I think Pres. Obama is not going to be such a lame duck in his last year-and-a-half," Price said.

Both Monroe and Price cited a preponderance of hate groups fomenting racial animus as evidence the time is now for a conversation on race to begin.

"We all realize now that the level of white supremacy now and hate groups [is] bigger than we thought," Price said.

"And [they're] saying 'Southern lives matter!'" Monroe added. "It's not fair to use this young man as the scapegoat in terms of white supremacy and racism. While he certainly is the catalyst for us to talk about racism, he's really the product of what has been going on, and what's been invisible."

>>The Revs. Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III join Boston Public Radio every Monday at 1 PM. Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Bay Windows and Huffington Post. Rev. Emmett G. Price III is a professor of music at Northeastern University, and the author of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture.