On this momentous occasion, that is Barack Obama's inauguration, I immediately think about my grandparents. They are African-Americans who were born in a time when blacks were considered second class citizens, not even human. My father, who was born in segregated America, was not allowed to share facilities and not allowed to enter through the front doors that whites used. He was beaten in the 60's during the Detroit riots and protested for equal rights for his people and all people. My mother was chased by dogs and called horrible names on her way to school, while her white neighbors through rocks at her. And even me as a child was told As a that I needed to be twice as good as my white counterparts to be successful and I have to strive to be twice as good to be considered equal.
These are stories of my family and of several African-American families across this country. And only 40 years ago, a day like today would not even be possible.
I look to my ancestors and my family and say thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for your courage. Thank you for the steps you took and the foundation that you established that allowed today to be possible. I am so happy that my grandparents, who are in their nineties, lived to see the day when a black man would occupy the white house. I am happy that I will not have to tell my son, that he has to prove himself twice as hard to be an equal participant in society. It has been said over and over that when we now tell our children that they can be anything, it won't just be a cliched statement but an attainable reality.
This is much more than a new President and an ushering in of new policies- It is also a change in the page of history and a momentous day for this country, one a long time coming. So, I congratulate our new President and I wish him the greatest success. You have made a lot of people more hopeful and extremely proud.
5 years ago