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.

Obama Campaigns In Pennsylvania During RNC

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!”