I know some of my more conservative readers might automatically think, what in the world is she talking about? Let me explain. Although I do not align myself with all that Barack Obama stands for, I am thankful for the inspiration that he has been in winning this National Election. I have a unique perspective on how this President-elect has impacted specifically the African-American community. As many of you know, I teach at a school on the west-side of Chicago. The demographic is 100% African-American. Although this has been somewhat of a challenging transition for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching in such a culturally different area (especially compared to my previous job in VA Beach).
The day after the election, students were heard shouting "Obama - Obama- Obama!" in the school hallways. There was a sensation of new hope that came with this new day in American History. Our principal gave an inspiring speech about how there are no excuses left for why anyone cannot become everything that they dream to become. She shared how Obama was not handed everything he got; he worked hard for it. Students were reminded that they need to take advantage of their education and not make any excuses about why they cannot succeed. They have no reason to say now, that their life is too hard or society is against them. Barack Obama has proven that America is a country where any person (no matter their race, gender, or religious views) can have the "American Dream". What an encouragement! I am personally encouraged with seeing how far our nation has come in the civil rights movement. This truly has been an historic election. One I am sure we will remember for many years to come.
I want to end with one little interaction between our Chaplain (pastor Hunter) and the students. I wish I would have video taped it, but this is how it went:
Mr Hunter: Good Morning Holy Family!
Students : Cheer and yell, Good morning Mr. Hunter!
Mr. Hunter: I heard a rumor! (in loud excited voice)
Students: A rumor? (in excitement and anticipation)
Mr. Hunter: Yea, I heard a rumor!
Students: A rumor?!
Mr. Hunter: Yea, that the next President of the United states looks just like YOU!
Students: Loud clapping, cheering, stomping, hooting and hollering!!!!
I am encouraged that these students have a positive African-American role model that doesn't bounce a ball or bust a rhyme. They have someone before them that has applied himself, by getting a great education and is having an historic impact on our nation and world.