by Rochelle Metcalfe on January 30, 2013

50 years after the 1963 March on Washington, America’s first Black President has completed his second Inauguration! President Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in on the day the nation observed the annual federal holiday to honor the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Standing tall, proud, recommitted, President Obama took the oath, holding a black leather traveling Bible used by Dr. King that was topped by a smaller one owned by President Abraham Lincoln.

Who would have imagined a Black man, the son of a Black Kenyan father, and a White American woman, would become the 44th president to lead this country! President Obama Immediately proclaimed Americans “are made for this moment!”

During his address, he proudly acknowledged that he stood on the shoulders of those who struggled for fairness and equality. Yes, there were among those sung and unsung heroes and sheroes who fought for freedom and a better life – Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Medgers Evers (Inaugural invocation delivered by his widow Myrlie Evers), so many. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired the world with his “I Have a Dream Speech,” The baton passed to Obama. His time in history is now!

Emancipation, the great migration, and the White House! African Americans have come a long way since Slavery, freedom from White slave masters; a time when Black men were stripped of their manhood, treated like dogs, beaten, lynched, bloody bodies hung from tree limbs (I’m reminded of jazz vocalist Abby Lincoln’s song, “Strange Fruit “).

Makes me tremble at the thought! Slave owners raped Black women, birthed his children, while her man, stripped of dignity, helplessly bowed his head. Separation of families; Black men and women in shackles, sold in the slave trade, forced from their homeland to help build this country!

Angered, again, when recently looked at reruns of Alex Haley’s “Roots,” and “Queen,” when shown on BET (Black Entertainment Television).

The Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in January 1863, freed coloreds from slavery, some were not free – had no where to go (as Obama stated in his speech – half free – half slave.)..- depended on the slave master to care for them, refused, out on their own – some starved, became sick, died. Caught in the trap of reconstruction, failure of promises of startup money to begin their new life, 40 acres and a mule – no survival resources. SHAME on America – STILL NO REPARATIONS!

Our handsome young 51-year old president, so wise, easily flash his warm winning smile, despite the pressures he’s under to protect this country – the road ahead will not be easy during these next four years.

Briefly watched the inaugural parade (missed most of it). Mr. President and his beautiful stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama, majestically walked beside her cool husband, swaggered in tux…Michelle – GORGEOUS at the Inaugural Ball in long red ball gown, designed by Mr. Wu ( she looks sexy and young in BANGS) , the couple danced to Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” as he romantically embraced his lady…he loves that woman. A proud smile crossed my lips.

Countdown to the end of his presidency, President Obama told us in his inaugural speech to the millions of people who came from near and far, standing in the cold on the Mall, asked for unity, “We the people – we are made for this moment!” ‘Pointing to the CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLES — “We’ve come through Selma, Stonewall (Gay rights protest in Greenwich Village, N.Y.), and Blacks and people of color should no longer wait for hours to execute their right to vote – it’s OUR generation’s task to carry on what they started.

Before leaving the U.S. Capitol, the camera captured President Obama in a cherished moment, as he turned around to say to those around him, “I want to take a look around one more time – I’ll NEVER SEE THIS AGAIN! “

E-mail Rochelle at iheard@earthlink.net

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