I was 17 in 2008 when you won the presidential election. I was honestly too out of touch to really grasp how big of a responsibility you assumed. You were expected to be the redeemer of the African American race and the leader of the free world. You were expected to bear the weight of all the leaders and ordinary citizens slain for the “cause”. I was ecstatic, but I could not help but feel a twinge of sadness. I knew you could handle the responsibility but I didn’t want you or your beautiful family to have to suffer for the unrealistic expectations of others. But the hopefulness I heard in your voice when you spoke and in your smile overrode every doubt, and your first speech as president elect solidified what I felt in my heart. Yes, YOU can. Yes, WE can.
Your first four years were marked with triumph. Like Muhammed Ali you were truly “the peoples champ”. I won’t go into detail about your accomplishments. Plenty of historians, journalists, bloggers, and people from the neighborhood have gotten in plenty of debates over your presidency. Whether we felt that you were too lenient or knocked it out of the park, we all will remember your name and what you stood for. And. We. Are. Proud.
I have spent the better part of two weeks researching your first term accomplishments and even reading it shorthand is not enough to really paint a visual of all you spearheaded. The most aggressive actions against foreign oppression and terrorism in the last two centuries and healthcare for all of those people who would not otherwise be able to afford it. You also thought of students like me who were entering the job force with lots of education but debt that would eat up the wages we earned. It awed me that you sparked change in the hearts of people from all walks of life. We read about these kinds of influencers in history books but never could I imagine that I would live to see the day that a black man would rewrite history.
To say I’m proud at this point is obviously an understatement. This pride has reverberated throughout the backbone of this country and those who really know the”real” can appreciate that. You were not perfect and you could not address every concern. In some cases when we needed a black voice we felt that you were not there. We felt your voice and your actions would turn the tide in many situations. We often budded heads, but were always in your corner. Moreover, it has not been an easy presidency for you or an eight years for us, and there were times where we ALL got knocked down. But you held strong and fought long term battles for all. I appreciate and respect that. I am more than my skin, thank you thinking of every aspect of me.
The second election was brutal. The media scrutinized you even more and nothing you said or did was enough. I have heard the words that we have to work twice as hard to get half has far as others. You made that real for me. I admire your courage, your strength, your love for your family, and your love for your country.
The night you won (the second time) I booked a flight to Washington D.C. I was not going to miss your second inauguration for anything in the world. It meant so much to take part in this election. That day was also MLK day and my birthday. I felt like the stars aligned just for me. I was going to be there rain, snow, or shine. My heart was full as we stood in the cold and made it through the gates to get to the national mall. Seeing people decked out in theirSunday’s best. I felt pristine in my godmother’s fur coat and fur hat. The air was charged and everyone could feel it. It was a truly indescribable experience. We were out there practically the entire day and it was such an honor to hear you speak. I walked away that day with memories I will share with my future children and grandchildren. The pictures below will recreate the beautiful story of the wonderful time I had.
These last four years have been eventful. We have joyed in your triumphs and marked the last of the last commemorative events. You have made strides here at home concerning human rights, education, healthcare and people are actively working to erase your legacy. IT WILL NOT PROSPER. You may not have done every single thing you set out to do but you are proof that one man can change the world. I am ready for the torch. I am ready to organize and tear down those walls built to the sky and made of bricks with hate, jealousy, and anger. I will continue your legacy of compassion and love for all. This torch will burn bright and long. I want to make you proud.
Thank you 44. Thank you for your resilience, sacrifice, love, laughs, and compassion. Thank you for standing strong in the face of racism and not allowing others to put a dent in your armor. Thank you for shedding tears for our children and dancing with us. Thank you for being the commander in chief and being the epitome of class, swag, and all things cool. Thank you for pushing yourself further than you ever imagined and being inspiration for others to do the same. Thank you for always recognizing the support system in your family and singing their praises. Thank you for your service and thank you for being you. I pray that God’s blessings continue to rain down over you and your beautiful family. I pray for your protection, good health, peace, and prosperity. Get some rest sir, job well done.