The makings of an African-American president

This week was history in the making. A black man, whose father was from Kenya and whose mother was a white woman from the United States, became the 44th president of the United States – Barack H. Obama. His mother and maternal grandmother raised him. I am sure that they would have been very proud of him. During the presidential debates, I felt so very proud of him that I cried at every answer that he gave. He was so cool, calm and collected! His thoughts were together, organized with no hesitation.

In my prayers, I asked God to let the candidate win who would bring this country together in peace and love among all people. And when the news media announced that Obama had won by a wide margin, I cried and I thanked God. I felt so proud! I only wish that my ancestors were alive to see a black man become president of the United States.

I worked the polls on that awesome Tuesday, as an election judge, which made me feel that I was a part of history in the making. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream was a step closer to reality. I believe that Barack Obama can not only change America for the better but the world as a whole in solving the economic and other crises that we are facing.

The people came together in great numbers on Nov. 4, 2008, to vote for a black man to be president of the United States of America – young and old, some in wheelchairs, some on crutches and some voting for the very first time. It did my heart good to see them laughing, talking and not complaining about the long wait in line.

Every individual has the right to direct the course of his or her life. I pray that the history that President Barack Obama has made will inspire the future generations to set higher goals for themselves as doors continue to be opened. Success is achieved by dedication and hard work. With success, come struggles. President Obama said it will take a while to undo the problems of our society and “there will be setbacks.” Another famous person in African-American history, Frederick Douglass once said, “Where there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

Let us all do our part in being a part of the progress of helping our newly elected African-American President Barack H. Obama! Let us be about the social change and transformation of our people and the country at large. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called forth the involvement of everyone to be committed to the struggle of justice, transformation and non-violence in his words: “Everybody can be great in this effort, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love to be great!” (“The Drum Major’s Instinct,” February 1968). Great things come from those who are committed and know their purpose.

The Preamble to the United States Constitution found under the Articles of Confederation states: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

During this historic time of struggle yet advancement, let us pray for our country and President Barack Obama as together we walk into our future.

Gloria V. Adams is a parishioner of St. Edward, Baltimore.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.