Two great miracles have unfolded during my lifetime:
- Barack Obama, a Black man and the 44th President of the United States of America, was re-elected to the most prestigious, honorable, and highest position in the nation; and
- On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s holiday, a day we desperately fought for, marks the date that President Obama will publicly take his oath of office.
I never thought, along with every Black person I know, we would witness firsthand such a riveting event and an affirmation of Dr. King’s dream. It’s a refreshing sequel.
As I look at the picture displaying Dr. King and President Obama side-by-side with the two phrases emblazoned, “I have a Dream” and “I am the Dream”, I realize how profound and significant these eight words impact us. Dr. King’s most memorable speech, I Have a Dream, will remain ingrained in my consciousness forever and I pray future generations will never, ever forget or dismiss his eloquent and powerful words spoken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963, which started:
“I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.”
Well, Dr. King, if you were looking down on us November 6th, you know that “today” is the outcome, which will also go down in history as the greatest show of determination to vote by Black men and women in the history of our nation.
Dr. King warned:
“We cannot be satisfied as long as a colored person in Mississippi cannot vote and a colored person in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.”
If only Dr. King could have been a witness four years ago, and my God, if he could have witnessed November 6th — it was a vision to behold. We came out in droves — the G.I. generation, the Silent generation, the Baby Boomer generation, Generation X, and Generation Y — and stood in extremely long lines, in the biting cold, and continued to stay put even when it was declared that President Barack Obama had been re-elected. We stayed in line to ensure that the election wouldn’t be stolen, couldn’t be bought. We stood in line because we knew that “we had everything for which to vote.” And in 2008, even a Hard Timer generation voted. Ms. Gertrude Baines born in 1894 was 114 years old at the time she voted for Barack Obama.
In his speech, Dr. King told some 250,000 marchers:
“Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana … knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.”
Even at the closing of both polls (2008 & 2012), these five states were red states. However, Dr. King’s premonition — somehow this situation can and will be changed — rang loud and true, and that situation is the election and re-election of President Barack Obama.
Dr. King preached on that hot August day,
“I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”
And that dream is President Barack Obama. And, it is a dream deeply rooted in every American that made this day a reality. Today, President Obama will be sworn in publicly for a second term in front of voters who are so very proud of him and his family. And I, for one, am proud of the monumental tasks he has accomplished over the last four years; and I know over the next four years he’ll tackle everything with the same endurance, sacrifice, and empathy. I hope that President Obama knows that we the people are behind him every step of the way. Of course we are, that’s why we re-elected him!
In closing, what an honor and a befitting tribute to publicly celebrate President Obama taking his oath on Dr. King’s holiday and placing his hand on two significant bibles: one once owned by President Lincoln and the other by Dr. King.