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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

Today was historical- we all know that. Today is January 20, 2009. Today the first African-American president, Barack Hussein Obama, the skinny kid with the funny name- was sworn in. This day in history was ushered in, the day before, by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s National Holiday. Oh and in case my husband happens to read this... today is also Daddy's birthday. ;o)
I tried to explain to our two little ones the importance of this day. I had to go back to the days when our ancestors were brought, chained, from their homeland of Africa, to American against their wills. Separated from their families.
"What is slavery?" our youngest asked.
I explained it to him as best I could for his age.
"Mama. How could they get Black people to work and do stuff if t they didn't want to?" he asked again.
I went on to explain a little about the days of Civil Rights and Martin Luther King's contributions and sacrifices.
"Mama. Why did he stand outside at that hotel if he knew people didn't like him?"
I answered him and tried to move on but...
"Where did he get shot?"
Growing impatient already I told him that, "he was shot outside his room of the Lorraine Hotel and-"
"No mama. I mean on his body."
I felt my eyes crossing.
"That doesn't matter!"
As I went on with my history lesson, I was interrupted again.
"Wook! There are his daughters Malika and Sasha!" his eyes widened.
"It's Malia," his sister told him. "Not Malika."
"Your aunt Kenya and people like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.- all the people who have passed on, would be crying tears of joy right now to see this day," I told them.
"I know mama. But they can see it from heaven," my little compassionate seven-year-old girl offered.
"Mama. Can I tell you sumpin?"
"Yes, you can tell me someTHING."
Not sure what to expect, I just closed my eyes and braced myself for it.
"It's cold out there and I would not be out there in the cold because Barack Obama is going to talk and talk and talk. And there is no way I would go to jail for that bus driver like Miss Rosa did."
"Okay. We know this and we are glad some other people before your time did do some things you wouldn't have done baby."
Years from now when our son is asked where he was on this historic day, I can't wait to jump in and answer that question.

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