The Meaning of the Moment

For countless black men and women, Barack Obama's inauguration ushers in a new administration and a renewed American spirit.

Posted:
 
82664223

I can't help it; I gotta sing.

“Aaaah-maayzin' ger-ace! How su-weeeet thuh sound … ”

What an amazing day to be black.

What an amazing day to be an American.

This is the day we never thought we would live to see, the one our grandparents prayed for, the one that inspired my wife Gayle to wear a pair of her late father's glasses into the voting booth so she could watch herself vote for Barack Obama through his eyes.

And more than that, it's the day when W.E.B. DuBois' famous description of the "twoness" we've always felt toward America finally becomes obsolete.

From now on, we won't need to worry about whether the dogged strength of our dark bodies alone will prevent them from being torn asunder by the unreconciled struggle between our warring identities as either black or American. From now on, we don't have to choose. At long last we can embrace our Americanness without betraying our blackness. Our body politic is finally healed.

We are Americans.

Here I go again: “Ooo-oooh, saaaaaaaay can you seee!”

This doesn't mean that America has fast-forwarded into a post-racial era, whatever that is, or that racial discrimination is over. It does mean that today we can celebrate the astonishing, earth-shaking realization that the country we've always loved so much has finally decided to love us back.

Comments
The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
Must-See Family Attractions
July 29 2014 2:13 PM