I remember watching the television alone in my living room, curled up on my sofa as I listened to Senator Barack Obama prepare to give his victory speech on the night of November 4, 2008. At the time, I was the mother of a toddler girl and barely three years in marriage. I watched Barack and Michelle Obama take that stage with their two girls. You might be thinking that I was sitting there grinning from ear to ear. I wasn’t. Several clips flashed across the screen of people all over the world witnessing this historical moment in the United States. It appeared to me that many of them were more proud to be Americans than I was at that moment. I wasn’t a fan of Barack Obama. I feared for Obama. On that night, visions of Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy raced across my mind. I clutched my decorative pillows. As people were carrying signs at Grant Park in Illinois that stated “HOPE”, I sat there gripped with fear. I feared for the life of the next president of the United States.
The years passed after Inauguration Day 2009 and I grew weary of hearing the dialogue about RACE IN AMERICA. I am not one to say that race relations worsened under The Obama Administration. I believe the evil of discrimination just got really bold.
I served as an officer in the military. I was taught that you never speak harmful words about the Commander In Chief. You can have your convictions but it would be best not to share them publicly and certainly not in uniform. Was I the only officer that got that training? You have to wonder that when you hear high officials speaking of the leader of this great nation with such hard to hear disdain. If my child hears me screaming through the house, I set the example for him to follow. And that is what I felt was taking place in America…everybody screaming how much they hate Barack Obama.
When the following election came, I just wanted Obama out of office so the screaming would stop. I just wanted to see him and his family go back to their lives and safely live. For those first four years, I believe he had a target on his back and I just knew it was a matter of time before someone would try it. So, there I was election night in 2012 waiting to hear that the Obama Era had come to an end and I would get my wish. But when it was announced that he was elected for a second term, I sat alone in the quiet of my living room. I looked up at heaven knowing surely this was the Lord’s doing because the Bible says that the existing authorities are established by God (Romans 13.1). I asked a question of God, “What does this mean?” For three presidential elections in a row, it appeared that I had voted contrary to God.
Do you think that after his second term elected to office that my feelings about him would have changed? No. I am not a fan of his politics. I don’t support his views on many, many issues. But you know what, I have to tell you that despite the fact that I disagree with him, I’ve grown to love the person. I am extremely proud of the family man that is Barack H. Obama. I am not his fan but I love him for what his image has done for me; a black woman, the oldest of three girls whose father was absent when we were Sasha and Malia’s ages.
Family Man: President Barack Obama
If I can say anything about his presidency, I cannot deny that he has stood the test against much adversity AND he has represented the versions of the leading man in black families that we rarely see (how many good examples of that do we see in celebrity?) For that, I give you a high five and a bow President Barack Obama. You showed the world.
1) Black men love black women, faithfully. (First Lady Obama has hips and an attitude too.)
2) Educated black men seek out talented black women, marry, raise families and treat each other like royals.
3) Black men want to be involved in the lives of their wife and children. They want to build families and not just breed seed.
4) Black men aren’t afraid to show deep affection for their queen in public.
5) Strong, black men are not rock hard, unfeeling people. They cry and they get emotional at times. They are forgiving.
6) Black men don’t have to curse, change their facial expressions or get loud to let you know that they are in charge.
7) Black men can have non-black buddies and really get along to the point it is special to watch.
8) Black men demonstrate what a good man looks like to their little girls because they treat her mother so well.
9) A black man is unselfish and he wants you to have the best and he will give his best trying to give that to you.
10) Black men want to see younger black men succeed and so they lead them and mentor them.
I didn’t watch President Obama’s Farewell address. I was grading papers that night. But I certainly heard about it the next day. It was my Naval Academy classmate’s Facebook post that reinforced my need to write this note. (Thank you Jodi Sewell for allowing me to share this.)
You may not have liked everything that he was about. You may not have liked anything he put out. But I believe there is plenty about this President of the United States that you can say that you absolutely loved. And you loved it to the point that you are going to miss it when he moves on. Go ahead, be honest, Barack Obama, got under your skin…in a good way. I won’t tell anyone you said it.
So, on to tomorrow. I have another kind of fear for tomorrow’s Inauguration Day. I am asking you all to pray. Pray for this nation. Pray for the Trump Administration. Pray that he leads with wisdom and that he makes us proud. I am not his fan either but who knows, Obama had Hope.
Blessings to the Obama Family! Live Long.