The new American power couple

From Barack’s historic remarks last night:

Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.  Thousands of miles have been traveled.  Millions of voices have been heard.  And because of what you said – because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another – a journey that will bring a new and better day to America.  Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

What a night for America!  What a night for Black folks!  We are all one step closer to  seeing a Black man in the White House.  Of course, there’s a long road ahead.  But, like many of you, I savored the moment with my family and pointed out to my son how important this moment is: In our lifetimes, we’ve finally seen an African American man win the presidential nomination of a major political party.  Now, to be factually correct, I should note that he is the "presumptive nominee" until it is ratified at the Democratic convention in August.

Be that as it may, the significance for my son, my family, for Black folks, for America should not be downplayed.  Truly, we’re on the verge of being able to tell Black children that they can, in fact, be anything they want to be.  And if that doesn’t help with the evolution of the Black imagination, I’m not sure what will.

(An aside: Did you catch how he and Michelle gave each other a pound before he spoke?  They are so fuckin’ dope!)

Like I said over a year ago: Barack Obama is Black rock.

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  • Andre

    hmm, it’s nice that people are happy he made president. But I’d think you’d tell your children to be who they want without a black guy becoming president. I understand the significance, I guess because I’m not American black person. But I really don’t see it as a big deal. If he is president, it’s more of a concern if he will carry out people’s wishes, than being a totem pole for African-Americans. You know what I mean. He had to have the confidence before becoming president. What’s so wrong about you and your children having confidence, even amongst all the doubts. I understand the role of the role model, but I’ve never really had one, and I don’t feel a person needs one, well at least me , lol. Good post.

    Let’s make an example. What if he messes up as a president? WIll you look down upon yourself as a human being? I know I wouldn’t and if people told me a black man messed up the country, I would be like ‘so what?’. He is a human being, and the fact that he is black, I don’t see the significance. But everyone around me, seems to, lol.

  • Thanks for commenting, Andre. However, I want to be sure that you don’t underestimate the importance and power of symbols and what they signal both within the country and without.

    I’m also concerned that you’re being reductive in your reasoning. For example, your question “What’s so wrong about you and your children having confidence, even amongst all the doubts.” There’s nothing wrong. In fact, the history of Black people in this country is one of excelling in the face of doubts and other external obstacles. It’s the same way that it would be empowering to women if Hillary Clinton becomes president: It would still be a first. In either cases, a barrier would finally be broken.

    More importantly, the election of Hillary or Barack would be an indication of the extent to which America is putting distance between her bright future and its racist and sexist past.

    So, no, it’s not just about Black people having a symbol. It’s about America turning a corner.

  • andre

    Yeah, I guess I don’t really care about symbols. Partly because I don’t care , really. I have no idols , that I look up to. I know people make a big deal about things like this, so its cool. Whatever lol. This was a good post by the way.

  • treese

    i loved the post and i saw the pound, i am still renewed in my hope for all future organizers, young black polititans, young people, and most of all black people!!!!

  • Regg

    I echo your sentiment on America turning this significant corner but I think its time for us to get beyond the awe of the moment and focus on the next 4 yrs and realize that he will be scrutinized and judged at every instant with an unforgiving eye, we need to be ready for that inevitable barrage.
    Part of of me is truly afraid at the possibility of his presidency being lack luster, I not only want Obama for president but I want his term to produce and go beyond expectations. This is just the beginning.

    Oh-was very pleased to hear you on npr on Bo Diddley’s passing, in fact the interview was clipped and replayed the next day also, you should be a weekly guest!-big ups

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