I’d like to go back to the Kenyan wedding I was at in my dream this morning. Barry and I are first cousins – the reason for my invite. We are at a table, eating and laughing with our Kenyan aunt. She has on beautiful, bright colors. Michelle is there. Gracious and tall.
I felt good waking from that dream. It seems fitting to dream of the Obamas in the context of family and laughter. Probably one of the things I love most about them – their love for one another – strong and unwavering. A symbol of how we have to be going forward – like family, like brothers, sisters, like first cousins, strong and unwavering as we deal with what’s ahead.
I’m fine with that.
How many times did Harriet Tubman risk her body and test her will to help my people be free?
I could stop right there.
How many steps have been walked, how many feet have bled? How many lives lost for my freedom?
How many words spoken on behalf of my freedom?
How many have suffered the unimaginable, have risked their sanity by retelling their story over and over again, till those stories have become etched in our collective memories so we learn, never repeat, and love stronger – for me?
How many words written to uncover our rich heritage of achievement, love, of joy – for me?
How many teachers in one room school houses educated under crazy conditions because they knew literacy and knowledge was the key to the American kingdom – for me?
How many Native Americans still fight, never faltering in their love and respect for the earth, even in the bitter cold, even in the face of all that’s been taken from them – for me?
How many present day activists that have been fighting for black lives, for gender equality, for our planet, for our democracy – fight for me?
We will never be done. I think it’s the realization that once understood, saves us from despair. There has always been a fight to preserve morality, to preserve humanity, and it will always be. For many, the privilege of being distant from injustice, is now over. The privilege of saying “that’s over there” is now gone. What motivates me to face these times, is all who have come before me, whose shoulders I stand on, and for those who I have the privilege to walk beside from this day forward.
I’m thankful for being alive right now. For experiencing a Barack and Michelle Obama presidency, where I observed and participated in the democratic process more than I have in my lifetime. They provided what no other white president could do. An invitation to belong. Like the Kenyan wedding in my dream, these two people felt like family in a previously exclusive, suspicious America.
And now, I’m ready to continue to do the work this family demands of me.
I thank the Obama’s and wish them well.