Hi Friends of the Blog! Monday was one of those days for me where I just couldn’t seem to get it together to sit down and write a blog. I guess it was the rain. My little guy woke up around 3am with a slight temperature. I was up with him for about an hour. Then it seemed that as soon as I put my head down on the pillow, it was time to get my oldest guy up and ready to go to school. I’m sleepy now, but if I don’t write this blog, I won’t be able to sleep.
As I was driving listening to the radio, the dj was talking about our President. I was thinking about how seldom we actually hear him being referred to by his title, just by his last name. I’ve never seen this type of disrespect with any other president or state official. It makes me sad. I’m not saying that I agree with every decision that he makes. For that matter, that statement is true about anyone that has held the seat of President. No one would agree with every decision that anyone makes. Heck, I don’t even agree with my husband all of the time. Does anyone? But I see our President making strives to accomplish the things that he said that he would. I can’t say that about everyone that has held that position.
I was chuckling a little as I was driving because a lot of our senior African American households, my parent’s house included, have a picture of President Obama somewhere. A lot of times, its up on the wall next to Jesus (lol). Why? My non-black friends may ask. Well, as a race, we have a history of celebrating when another person from our race has succeed. If you think of that statement from a 2014 mentality, you may think that I’m making a racist statement. It’s not and I’m far from being racist.
I’m thinking about the world that my parents grew up in. My mom is in her middle 60s and my dad in his middle 70s. My dad’s parents were share croppers. He picked cotton. Share croppers were predominately black families who lived on a (usually white) land owner’s property. Their service of taking care of the land was the payment for living on the land. In many instances, they picked cotton, and/or farmed. They got a portion ( usually the least desired part/scraps) of the farm goods, and a small monetary payment, depending of the agreement by the land owner.
My grandparents were a generation or so out of slavery. My parents came through Jim Crow, sitting in the back of the bus; drinking from separate water fountains; not being served in some establishments simply because of what their skin looked like. A lot about those times, older folks don’t like to talk about because it causes certain emotions to rise up in them.
There where actual known members of the KKK seated in the White House! (check out this link to see who) http://able2know.org/topic/99462-1 What chance would a person of color have of moving forward regarding equal rights, if the person running the country, literally hates you? And their spirit still lingers in our government today.
It’s through these eyes and harsh memories that make black folks celebrate the fact that somebody made it. I’ve never had hot coffee poured on me in hatred (thank you Jesus). But I have sat in a restaurant and noticed that everyone had been served, except me; who was seated conveniently in the back. I remember being the only black in my kindergarten class and one of 3 or 4 blacks in a class size of about 30, going through school. I remember my first job as an adult. Me and a white female, who was the same age as me, started the same job position (we were office mates), the same day. I learned a year later that her starting pay was a dollar more than mine.
At this job, I was the first black woman to work there. At that time the establishment was about 30 years old. The only blacks who worked there were on the maintenance staff. The older white female receptionist called the black maintenance men, boys. “Call one of the boys on the radio and tell them to go to such and such place.” One day, I purposely called one of the white managers and told him that the receptionist said to go. She came back and said, I told you to call one of the boys. I said, he is one of the boys… isn’t he? She rolled her eyes and went back in her office. People were not particularly nice to me my first year there. Simply because I was different. I’ve always been a cutie (if I must say so myself :o) moderately sarcastic; full of positive energy; great personality and a big smile. After a while, they came to appreciate me for the person that I am, and I them. When I left, one of the ladies who couldn’t stand me when I started, cried like a baby when I left. We had become family after those 5 years.
When many people of color see someone like our President make it regardless of the pure BS that we have to deal because of the skin we are in. We can’t help but be proud!
I’m proud of him because sometimes even in 2014, its not always easy to be in black skin. People who live in skin that looks like the President, know exactly what that means. But like him, you don’t use who you are to make lame excuses; but use who you are as a leverage to elevate you (and others) from where you are to where you want to be. If he can do it, then we can do it too!
Though I don’t have a picture of Jesus or the President on my wall. I understand why he made it on the wall at my parent’s house, and countless other black households. I’m grateful for both Jesus and President Barack Obama, for different reasons of course. Our President has left an indelible legacy with lots of people, that will never be forgotten.
*(No intended disrespect to any race of people reading this post. I’m not negating his influence on anyone else. I am simply writing from my own perspective. I respectfully welcome your thoughts and comments if you wish to share them.)