My President is Black

Dear President Obama,

Never again will I see a picture like this EVER again in my lifetime: my Black President taking a mean jumpshot over another white man. Wow…It’s the final day that you and your family will consider the White House home for the rest of your lives. It’s the final time we will even think about all of our favorite celebrities, change agents, and more will be able to say they partied all night with a Black President. President Obama, I voted for you in 2008 in my very first election and I recall the night that you won, and I cried tears of joy. I watched a Black man earn the highest seat in the land on a truly historic evening with a friend of mine. Moments later, I heard Jeezy’s My President is Black blaring through the speakers of a car outside. It truly was a celebration for Black people throughout the country. I recall driving up to Washington, D.C. from Florida to watch you take the oath with your wife at your side and the atmosphere was raucous. Black people from ALL walks of life connecting with one another, smiling, dancing, and truly excited about this Black man, Black wife, and Black family moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. In 2012, you won the re-election and once again, I was at your inauguration. Now this time, the air was different…That level of excitement wasn’t at the fever pitch that was in 2009, yet people remained helpful. I believe the Black community was wondering what would Obama do for us?

Although I have my thoughts on your effectiveness as President, I cannot and will not take away what you and your family represented for my community. You represented something bigger and better for those coming up in a country that consistently tried to tell us that we were living in a post-racial society because we “transcended race” in America. And I won’t deny that you definitely had your hands full/tied during your two-term Presidency that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy: people calling your nationality into question, calling your family derogatory names, taking shots at your wife and constantly throwing hate towards you. Despite all of this negativity, you publicly showed dignity like no other. I’m sure that behind closed doors, you had your moments with your wife and confidantes, moments that I’m sure we cannot even fathom as a people, yet you held it together. You offered a different narrative of what it meant to be a Black man in this country with a Black woman by your side. President Obama, you showed in your 8 years, that despite “how many times people go low, we should always aim to go high”.

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The love that you have for your wife and children I hope to exceed it one day as I begin to start a family of my own. Thank you for showing people that being an educated Black man is cool and staying down to earth will never go out of style. I know being the “first” anything is difficult, however, you always tried your best to cater to the plethora of people who clamored to be heard. One day, I hope I can read this to you in person and when that time comes, I’ll be as excited as I was when you stood less than 10 ft away from me at the Families USA conference in 2011. Mr. President, thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams with our country. Thank you for representing a counternarrative to the  ones that many Black men constantly received growing up. You and your family represent #BlackLove #BlackGoals and more and I respect you all so much. Thank you for representing the possibilities for the Black man. Please take a well earned vacation with your wife and see what the next four years have in store. I’m going to listen to My President is Black a few more times to remember the good times of the last four years. #ThanksObama…

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-J

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