Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
On Tuesday night Americans made history by electing the first Black president of the United States of America. This was very exciting for many people in America and around the world, even up here in Canada where there were many people that went out to celebrate Obama's victory. No one group has been more excited than Africa-Americans.
But even with all of that, I was never to excited or worked up about a first Black President. Being an African American myself, I've found myself (at lest these days) not thinking much about race. It has for me (fortunately) been a non issue. I've never been denied access to a restaurant or bar because I'm black, I've never been forced to sit at the back of the bus, or give up my sit to a white person, and so, I haven't really had to feel the real impact of racism. But that is not everyone's story.
My parents when they came to this country faced challenges that I never had to face and had to see things I didn't have to see. On Tuesday night as I talked with my parents, they told me of not getting jobs because they were black and how life was harder for them when they first came to Canada. For those that have lived in Toronto long enough, there use to be restaurants with signs that read "No dogs or Jews allowed". There were apartments that use to not rent to black people and hotels that would not take black customers, making travel hard for people that weren't white. But because of the work of many people, including Martin Luther King, I don't have to endure that and I'm thankful for that.
And so, as millions watched Obama's acceptance speech, there was almost a sense of disbelief, as only a generation ago black people had to fight for acceptance into society and now they are excepted into society's highest position. It brought Oprah and Rev. Jessie Jackson to tears to believe that we as a people have come this far and Obama's election has paved the way for other black people in the future. It was almost strange, as just a few years ago I thought that Colin Powell would run, but many people felt that America would not vote for a black president and now here we are. It has been inspiring for many people around the World to see Obama's election win And now as I think about it, its inspiring to me.