Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On January 20, 2009, the United States of America swore in its first African American President ever, President Barack Obama…or is it? Some people to this day believe that John Hanson Moor was the First African American President of the United States, this reportedly happened back in 1781-1782. Some of these same people also say that George Washington was actually the 8th President of the United States. If you don’t believe me, just try searching the name, John Hanson Moor.

The fact is this, Barack Obama is now the new “President of the United States” and we will finally see the end to the Bush administration, (at least unless Jeb Bush runs and wins in 2012). There are so many people who thought they would never see an African American U.S President in their lifetime. This list included my mother, Patricia J. Hartley who passed on December 9th 2008 in a Camden, New Jersey Hospital, shortly after Barack was elected to be the 44th President of the United States. On November 5th, I called my mother to see what she thought of an African American winning the office of President, she said, “I never thought I would see the day.” Which was an interesting comment coming from a woman who because of her religious beliefs had never voted a day in her life or even possessed a drivers license…at least, as far as I can recall.

Some 2 million plus people from all around the nation descended upon Washington D.C. via planes, boats, busses; trains and automobiles just to witness this history making event. The Inauguration of Barack Obama, will rival the August 1968 March on Washington D.C, where an estimated 250 thousand people listened to the famous “I have a Dream” speech given by the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. I am so proud to see so many people coming together in the spirit of “Yes We Can”. I must admit though, I never thought that I would ever see the day when an African American would ever hold a seat in the highest office in the United States. I mean really, just look at the past attempt; There was Shirley Chisholm, who was not only the first African American woman to win a seat in U.S. Congress in 1968, but in 1972, she became the first African American woman to run for President and, of course, there was Jesse Jackson; who campaigned for the Democratic nomination twice, in 1984 and 1988. Some people say these runs secured his place as the pre-eminent black American leader of the era (I beg to differ.) There was Lenora Fulani, she ran as an independent in 1988 and was the first black woman to appear on presidential ballots in all 50 states. She also ran in 1992. There was Alan Keyes in 1996 and 2000 not to forget Carol Moseley Braun. A U.S. senator, Moseley Braun briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, oh yeah, and then there was the Rev Al Sharpton in 2004.

The election of the nations first “Official’ African American President is without a doubt one of the biggest events in the history of the United States. My question is how do we top this or do we? I say, “let’s just bask in the glory for a few months”. Whether Barack Obama is the first African American President or the second, the 44th President or the 51st I still would like to say Congratulations on a job well done and much success in the White House. (Hey, I was just wondering should we still call it “The White House?)

Stanley E. Roberts, Founder, we8there.com


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