I cried on election night 2008. At 24, I never thought in my lifetime that I would see a black American rise to the highest government office in the nation and the world. I laughed and shook my head after watching Chris Rock’s movie Head of State, because of what I thought to be the implausibility of it. If you’ve never been called a “credit” to your race, or told that you “break stereotypes”, or had said of you that you’re “[insert positive attribute] for a [insert your race] person”, or if you’ve not had to be usually thoughtful about whether your mistakes at work, or in class, or in any given space in everyday life would be deemed a reflection of your entire race, it may be hard to fully appreciate what it means to blacks/non-majority folks to have someone who shares your hue as president of the United States. For black boys, girls, men and women, it made the implausible a reality. It broke limits off of the notions of tangible for us in transcendent ways….
And then, Michelle! Such poise, such class, such wit, such tact, and 100% Black like me! Like my mother, she’s the real life Claire Huxtable. A sistah! Like me. Articulate. Like me. Curvy. Like me. Don’t take no mess. Like me. And while I’ve not been a blind or ardent supporter of all Obama’s decisions, I am grateful to have lived through this moment in history where I could say what we oft have endeared declaring: “My president is black!” And my preferred favorite: “My first lady looks like me!” These statements do not decrease the light in others. They simply, proudly, humbly affirm that what was impossible in just my parents’ generation was made possible in mine. And shine a brilliant light of possibility for the future.