It’s been a year and some days since most of us witnessed a day we never thought would come, at least not in our lifetimes. That night and the subsequent weeks leading up to inauguration felt great. There was a certain quiet (or in some people’s cases, not so quiet) pride that most of us in the Black community walked around with. Whether you agreed with him, voted for him, or even liked the man, his seemingly comet-like ascendance into the Oval Office was something every Black person could look to as a source of inspiration and pride.
I remember right after the election, there was this certain knowing amongst a great number of people that the election of Obama meant more than just the rise of one particular Black man. It was bigger than just him. Obama’s win, and the following spotlight placed upon him, his life, and his family was going to signal to the Black community and Black men in particular that there was hope and create a new way of thinking. With Obama in office and doing the unthinkable, we couldn’t use the same old tired excuses and in fact, we should all want to do better. As Black men, our time to shine was now. Go forth and make a difference and be the change you want to be. Don’t just talk about it, be about it. If Obama can, you can too.
He’s every man and every man was/is Obama.
It’s one year later.
CNN ran a story last week entitled, “Is Obama inspiring Black men to step up?”, where they talked to numerous Black men to get their take on what they’ve done (or not done) since Obama took to the national stage. Like I said, the day Obama won, it seemed like everybody was ready to hit the streets with dreams and inspiration and kick the truth to pretty much anybody that wanted to hear it. And it seems like he has. On paper anyway.
Seems to me that some of that energy and excitement from Obama has worn off – not even some, most of it. He’s just the President now and people pretty much look to him as such. Of course, people still buy Obama memorabilia but what about the dreams that he inspired and the motivation. What about the change in the Black family dynamic away from the alleged mother-headed household to the Huxtable model. Hell, blogs referencing the Huxtables blew up after the election. Everybody wanted that life…that Obama life.
But perhaps I’m shortsighted. Truly, I wonder if we’ll see the effects of Obama’s presidency in the near term anyway. Real change takes years. Major state colleges were only integrated 50 years ago and we still have de facto school segregation in places. Same with housing, services, etc. But the seeds of change should be planted. Maybe some of us are kind of too old to change and the real change will come from the younger people who have so much promise in their eyes and have been influenced by the way everybody felt by Obama’s win.
I have no clue.
So I wonder, good people of VSB, have you witnessed any change since Obama was elected? Is the Black community any different than it was a year ago? If so, how? Or is it too early to even be able to tell? Is the economy in too much of stalemate for real change to even be realized at this point?
Basically, where are we now, one year later?
The floor is yours.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3