Over the last year on these pages, I’ve written often about the cultural shift taking place, both within the African American community and the country at large.  Barack’s victory in Iowa is further indication of this shift.  Look at the enthusiasm that his candidacy has engendered.  Look at today’s New York Times, and you’ll get a sense of how this shift is also rippling through the African American community.  While most probably can’t articulate it in specific terms, they’re beginning to see why Barack Obama is Black rock and what that means.

The biggest thing that his victory in Iowa has given many African Americans is hope.  There’s the hope that he might actually be a contender and, somewhere within that, a kernel of hope that he might win.  And to consider either of these as potential outcomes is to expand the imagination of the country–particularly that of African Americans–that all parts of the American promise are available to everyone.  That’s why the title of the Times article is so spot on: African American must dare to hope.  For change.  For full inclusion.  For the courage to participate fully in American society, not just to rep our blocks in a world that’s gone global.

Now more than ever.

As a First Family, the above image will make many people–both black and white–uncomfortable.  But it’s an image that I expect we’ll all get used to and embrace.

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