Friday, May 27, 2022
The Most Powerful Man in the World is a Black Man
Published January 22, 2009

The climate in Southern California was warm, a stark contrast to the frigid conditions where the inauguration of America's first Black President was held amid millions at the National Mall in Washington D. C.

It was the culmination of the hot and cold struggles of African Americans that reached it's historical perch on Jan. 20 when Barack H. Obama was sworn in as the chief executive of the most powerful nation in the world.


President Obama, the son of an African immigrant who would not be allowed to experience the same freedoms of his son more than 60 years ago in America, pierced an old boys club that many Blacks did not think was possible.

However, one day past the nation celebrating the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more than a half of century after Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat, decades beyond the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, King and Malcolm X, Obama raised his hand above the same bible that Abraham Lincoln used and became the 44th President of The United States of America.

It was a surreal ceremony. Massive flags fighting against the wind, a cast of political dignitaries which included all of the living Presidents and a galaxy of stars including the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who sang 'My Country Tis of Thee' as citizens from sea to shining sea at home and around the globe witnessed in silent amazement.

Obama captured the essence of the moment by weaving into his speech the state of America and also hinting at it's ugly past, one that cast a grey sober cloud over Blacks that has hovered for more than three hundred years.

"Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been a path for the fainthearted-for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame," President Obama explained.

Instead he offered, "It has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things-some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor-who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom."


During the benediction, Rev. Joseph Lowery prayed, "And as we leave the mountain top, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our family. Let us take power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or whatever we seek your will."

Rev. Lowery concluded, "Lord, in memory of all saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when Black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around…when yellow will be mellow…when red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right."

It was a day when our nation stood as still as the waters that flow in the Potomac River.

It was a day when little Black boys and little Black girls awoke to a television screen of a dream fulfilled.

It was a day when the world, through a President who resembled them, was reminded of a race that for far too long was ignored instead of recognized.

It was a day in that will be ingrained in each of us for the rest of natural lives and memories that can be past down for generations to come.

It was a day when hope was transformed into reality.

It was a day when each of us will remember where we were and what we were doing.

For African Americans, it removed beyond a shadow of a doubt the unlimited possibilities that lie ahead, if only we can embrace and learn from our past.

Categories: International

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