In her note she shared with me how Maya’s poem at the inauguration of Clinton’s first term would have been appropriate for this time around and how ahead of its time Maya’s poem was, in light of the historic nature and significance of this government elect…
It is a New Day…
Good Morning World!
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours–your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
It has just dawned on me that President Obama, who is visibly Black as the First USA President, does not carry a name like Jefferson, Jackson, Johnson, Washington etc. To simply put a White Slave Master’s Name.
It was weird how out of nowhere this string of thought pop up in my head. I found it a bit fascinating and tried to wrap my brain around this light bulb that just turned on. So I decided to process in hope of finding a meaning in this idea.
All can think of is that how our names were beating out us a la Kunta Kinte during slavery. How we were branded, killed and terrorized badly enough so we forget our Names. The trauma suffered, hunt us still to this very day. And God knows how much many of us have struggled to overcome this stigma. The sense of being nameless and lost hence belong to no one and nothing.
Many who were intuitive enough to sense what was waiting on the other side of the Atlantic chose their fate and willingly jumped, others starved themselves to death taken with them their Name. Intact.
I may be over dramatic about this and making a big deal out of nothing but I could not help but find the irony and yet another profound meaning in the presidency of Barak Hussein Obama. The leader of the free world and yes he is Black.
This is an event that most had thought they would never live to witness and yet it is here and not only there is Black President in the White House, his name is OBAMA, an AFRICAN NAME. How Wonderful is that?
Just read this interesting article in the NYT online version. Apparently there is movement brewing in France for the last few years… This article take into account how Obama’s presidential run has provided the inspiration for many Afro French Brothers & Sisters to take the French society to task about its racial demons…
My advise to the French however you re(act) or respond to this social conversation, please do not follow the pathology that America has opted for in addressing its racial issues.