I am still in awe of what I witnessed yesterday. I’m normally not a person that cries easily but the tears were flowing as President Obama took his oath. I couldn’t help but think about the implications of the event. After years and years of slavery, then Jim Crow, then covert discrimination, yesterday was truly a milestone not only for African Americans but for all Americans, especially those of color.
During the inauguration, I thought about my mother who was one of the first African Americans in my small hometown in central Texas to integrate into an all-white school. I thought about the stories I heard about how she received bomb threats because there were some people who were against the integration. I recalled stories about how she would have to use the bathroom in the back of the restaurants on roadtrips and how she couldn’t have even dreamed of eating in the main dining area. I also thought about my grandparents from Alabama who lived in the heart of racism which later became the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.
And then I thought of myself. I thought about how I can accomplish whatever I choose. With God on my side, the possibilities are endless. And I always admire the Obamas as a family. They give me hope in believing that I can share my life with a man that is admirable, strong, intelligent, and influential and together we can have beautiful children.
While I believe that Barack is the most qualified to lead this country in spite of his race, I can’t help but rejoice because he’s the first African American president. For a Black man to now be leading a country that once enslaved us is mind-boggling. But it’s a true testament to the strides that America has made. We still have a long way to go, however. But at least we have the hope and the changed needed to propel us into the future.