The inauguration of the nation’s 44th President is less than a week away, and the period finds my soul a kaleidoscope of mixed emotions. I am happy, I am anxious (a rarity for me), I am contemplative, I am troubled, I am tired, and I am exasperated, yet exhilarated. My soul embodies all of those emotions, but the one that rises to the top is pride. I am proud that to be an American, not a just Black American—thought certainly my pride in hue and tenor of my skin never wavers—but an American, who at long last is fully able to partake in the America of Martin Luther King’s imagining. It is most fitting that the day after we celebrate that great man’s birth, we inaugurate this nations first Black President!
I feel as though my long, oft-times lonely and seemingly fruitless ideological believe in the Principles undergirding the founding of this great nation—as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and Federal Constitution—have been finally justified by that actions of the majority of my fellow citizens. A broad spectrum of Americans from all walks of life elected Barak Obama to be our next leader because they saw past the color of his skin and embraced the content of his character. Many, many, Black Americans never thought they would live to see this momentous day come to pass, but here it is upon us, and now even the world, yes the world, is holding it collective breath, placing its hopes on a renewed America—and all that purports— squarely upon the shoulder of this man of African and American decent.
The nation is going through the worst economic upheaval since The Great Depression thanks in no small measure to the lack of stewardship and leadership of the outgoing Republican Administration. Now it is up to Obama to correct the course, to steer the ship of state back to calm, prosperous waters wherein the American Dream can once more flourish and be realized by all Americans without the scourge of corruption, or the ugliness of greed. Of course I am mindful that he cannot do it alone, but he can and does provide the leadership, vision and wisdom necessary to see us through to a brighter tomorrow.
To quote James Taylor: “Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King, and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth; ties of hope and love; sister and brotherhood.” Barak Obama’s Inauguration Day is our day, let all Americans rise to the occasion and throw off the shackles of partisanship, racism, trepidation, hatred, and doubt that may divide us and celebrate the coming of what we all (should) hope will be a new dawn for our nation and indeed the world!