Friday, February 11, 2011

Black History Post - Barack Obama

There isn't an insect underneath a rock that hasn't heard of President Barack Obama. The history-making, nation-inspiring, prolific speaker that we call President of the United States, is quite possibly the coolest, one of the smartest, and most down-to-earth (next to Bill Clinton) Presidents we've ever had in place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Disagree with his policies if you will, but one thing that can't be refuted is the fact that Barack Obama, before he was President, inspired a nation that was desperately seeking change. The first African-American President of the United States, he seems to follow the trend of the past Presidents: well educated, ambitious, but the political shift he initiated in this country can only be compared to, if even, the type of impact the late President Ronald Reagan had on the US in and around 1980.

For me, it wasn't about the policy or the platform anymore in the late stages of the 2008 Presidential campaign, it was about the impact it would have on our country and its message it would have for a better, and progressive society.

I attended a watch party with a few of my Political Science classmates and my favorite Political Science professor, Dr. Hughes, and when it was announced that he won, chills went through my body, and you could hear a pin drop in the room because NO ONE actually believed it was possible.

Many people can try to write it off as not being a big deal, but it was only until 1865 that the 13th amendment was enacted (banning slavery), the 14th amendment in 1868 (which granted blacks citizenship, a pre-requisite for becoming President), the 15th amendment in 1870 (giving blacks the right to vote), and last but NOT least, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that is right, 1964, that outlawed major acts of discrimination acts against blacks -- and here it was 2008 that we ELECTED AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESIDENT.

There has never been any President of color before, so whether you are African-American, Asian, Indian, etc., President Obama has broken barriers for every race. His presence at the White House united our nation, inspired people to push for things they deemed impossible, regardless of race or ethnicity.

We had and still do have a lot of expectations of a man who has transcended so many barriers, but at the end of the day, he is still human. People have accused him of being a socialist, of not being a citizen, and doubting his Christian faith. I choose to continue to support him, because no matter who is in office, we should respect the Presidency as an institution, and not just if the person occupying the office is akin to our political ideology.

President Obama is a living, breathing, and active part of Black History, and so out of respect for him, and the inspiration he has given me and so many members of the African-American community, as well as many other communities, I would like to share some pictures of him in his best light, and also his 2009 inaugural address.

God bless the USA!!!

2009 Inaugural Address:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barbara Jordan's Legacy

In honor of the first day of Black History Month, I would like to give spotlight to one of my role models, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. She is the epitome of a public speaker, the epitome of a public servant, the epitome of triumphing over disability, and the epitome of it means to break down barriers, God rest her soul. With her being from my hometown, and childhood friends of my late grandmother, I feel a personal connection with her. Her work has always inspired me to be a public servant and run for public office.

Here is a snippet from her Wikipedia biography:

Barbara Charline Jordan (February 21, 1936 – January 17, 1996) was an American politician who was both a product, and a leader, of the Civil Rights movement. She was the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate after reconstruction and the first Southern black woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was an inspirational figure in the Progressive movement through her powerful public speaking and her triumphant refusal to be defined by disability. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among numerous other honors. On her death she became the first African-American Woman to be interred in the Texas State Cemetery. The main terminal of Austin-Bergstrom Airport is named for her.

Before President Obama, there was Congresswoman Barbara proved herself to be a prolific speaker, and her 1976 keynote address at the Democratic National Convention has been ranked number 5, in the top American speeches of the 21st century. You can find the transcript here (copy and past the URL): or you can watch a YouTube clip below.

What an outstanding woman and an incredible inspiration!

More to come