November 5, 2008...the day after our nation elected a “black” man president.
Memories from my childhood collide in my head.
I grew up a few blocks from “colored” town. I went to school with blacks. The school I attended had pictures on the wall showing drinking fountains in our school from earlier days with signs over them…”Whites only”.
I have no idea why I was there, but I do remember one time the Ku Klux Klan marching down our main street...dressed in their white robes and hoods and carrying torches. Scary! All I really knew is that they hated the blacks.
One town where I lived in Texas would not allow a black person to stay within the city limits after dark. They would be escorted to the edge of town and told to go away.
But I, personally, have never had a problem with the black color. They certainly have more rhythm than most people. I love to watch them sing. Their whole bodies enter in. I feel like a stiff board beside them.
So as I listened to the victory speech in Grant Park, I did not see a black man. I saw a husband, father, son, and grandson. I heard words that moved my heart; since he is an excellent speaker. But my concern is that it takes so much more than words to do the job he has before him. Pretty speeches won’t get it done. He has been handed a huge burden. As with presidents before him, we will watch him age before our very eyes.
As I viewed the crowd gathered, my thoughts turned to the Berlin Wall. For those of us old enough to remember, we watched a great moment in history take place as that wall fell piece by piece.
So, too, have I witnessed another wall coming down, bit by bit. Our children of today have no concept of the journey they saw completed last night.
As I drove to work this morning, the world looked the same as it did yesterday. But is it?
The time has arrived at last when a person’s value is no longer determined by their race or skin color. Maybe the significance is not so complex for our youth because they seem to more easily accept people for who they are. Thank you for your insight to our new leadership.