Over the last few days I have expressed my excitement over the first black president and been shocked to learn that most members of my family dont get the significance. Even the 12 year old downstairs, eating her breakfast, while watching music videos, just said, ” so what, he’s just another president.”

Now the 12 year old wasn’t raised by me or mine, but my brothers, my own sons, at least two of them, have said the same thing. To which I responded, my god, don’t you know anything about history?

I thought I taught them about slavery, I thought they knew about the hardships of being a negro in america. But I am not black, and so I did not engrain history into their minds. I think perhaps, that lack of understanding must also come from the schools which have failed to teach the real history of our country.

I know, I didnt learn about slavery in school. I was oblivious until roots, the tv show, and after that I ate up every bit of history that I could to try to understand how it could be that people in america once enforced, and embraced such inhuman cruelty.

But american history omits much of the truth regarding america and its actions, or lack thereof. I didnt even know about the holocaust until I was 12 and had a jewish friend whose grandmother had survived the camps.

What a world we live in when so many people just dont understand the significance and the potential for healing this president brings.

How do you not know about segregation, about men being hung because they were black and dared to drink out of the white fountain instead of the black?

How do you not know that Rosa Parks took her life into her hands when she refused to sit in the back of the bus and that she was arrested simply for sitting in the front of the bus?

How do you fail to know that the pathway from the lincoln memorial to the white house used to hold slave markets there?

How do you not know that Martin Luther King had a dream, that segregation would end, and that all people would one day be truly equal? I know by the law, equality has technically been around since the early 50s- 60’s but how do you not get the significance, or understand that today, the dream finally passed the last barrier and became reality?

I am disapointed in those of my family who have missed out on the joy of this day because they lack the knowledge and the understanding of the significance regarding this time, in the span of not just American history, but in some cases, world. And I am disapointed in myself for not realizing I have enlightened no one in all my 50 years.

Barack Hussein Obama, born August 4, 1961, is not simply “just another president”.

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