Little Black Girls

On this unusually historic morning, I went about my usual routine of prepping for work. As on any day, I stood in the mirror curling my hair as Kaelyn stood on the edge of the tub next to me, chirping away non-stop. I think I now understand the root of Kaelyn's obsession with Obama:

Me: Kaelyn, guess what?

K2: What?

Me: Obama won!

K2: (eyes wide, smile wider) He WON? He's going to bring my present now?

Me: Huh? (dawning realization) Ohh!!! No, sweetie! He's going to be our president now! He's the boss!

K2: He's going to bring my present in a box?

Me: No, silly. He's going to be our president, which means he's the boss, and he gets to live in the White House!

K2: He's going to bring my present in a box, and he's giving a white horse?

Me: You're just three, but you've already mastered the art of selective hearing like a pro.

K2: And I'm cute, too!

Me: Who said you were cute?

K2: Barack Obama!

Me: sigh

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On a September Sunday morning in 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The building, which was the center of the surrounding Black community and the location of many civil rights rallies and planning meetings, was destroyed. Four little girls – an 11-year old and three 14-year olds – were killed as they prepared in the church basement for the Sunday morning service. The explosion shook the city of Birmingham, Alabama, but the reverberations were felt across the entire country.

As the heart and organizational headquarters of the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham was no stranger to racial unrest. Several other bombings and riots had occurred in the city earlier in the year. But this bombing was different. It was a catalyst for the growth of the Civil Rights Movement. The intent of the bombing was to demoralize and weaken, but instead, it awakened and strengthened. Over the next year and beyond, people of all races unified to spread the message and fight for equality. The deaths of the four innocent girls prodded many to wake up and pay attention, to not only talk about change, but to do something about change.

Fourlittlegirls 

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Last night, I could not stop my tears from streaming as I impatiently waited for our President Elect's acceptance speech. When Obama finally took the stage, it was his daughters, not him, to whom my eyes were drawn.     

Obama, michelle, and daughters

Fourty-five years ago, little Black girls were victims of hate, intolerance, and injustice, killed without reason in a house of God. I am here to see the day – my children are here to see the day when little Black girls will live with reason in the White House. My children will know the significance of November 4, 2008. This day is the result of years of change and is the start of change for years to come. What was once a far-flung dream for my people is now a reality for my children.

In Malia and Natasha, pretty little Black girls with their hair spun in to silky ringlets, I saw the faces of every child. I saw everyone who had ever been told you can't because you're Black/gay/fat/stupid/different/weird/wrong/a woman/_______. Malia and Natasha represent my little Black girls and boys, and all the children of their generation who won't have to grow up fighting so hard against you can't

because we stood up and said yes we can.

2008-2009 school year 053 2008-2009 school year 051

The real Obama Girl (with bad morning hair) and me

18 Comments

  1. Calliope on November 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    beautiful, beautiful post.
    xo to you & your sweet & sassy girl!



  2. Stacie on November 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Can your daughter be any cuter? She has quite a personality.
    I had so much anxiety lastnight watching McCains number slowly rise. My husband had to keep telling me not to worry, that Obama would win. WOO HOO!!!!
    – Stacie



  3. Kari on November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    We won by a landslide!!
    I too am so thrilled that history is changing. I teach my “little white kids” that we are all equal and it doesn’t matter what color your skin is or what private parts you have but the truth is until last night, it did matter!! This is a great day!!



  4. Alicia on November 5, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    so cute your little girl is!



  5. Kristin on November 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Kaelyn is such a funny little girl.
    To me, the change in our country, the change in what is possible, is the most amazing reality of Barack’s election. We, as a nation, have proven to ourselves that we can do anything!



  6. Jen on November 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Beautiful post. This is an amazing time to be an American. I am so glad that Barack Obama is going to be our next President.



  7. MommyLady on November 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I feel a MommyLady post coming on! πŸ™‚



  8. luna on November 5, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    beautiful post. I’ve been weepy since last night, and this is one important reason why…



  9. Nikki on November 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Yes we can! And yes, we did!!! It was a beautiful moment. I am from India, and having grown up there, my view and understanding of these issues is not as clear as many others, however, I too had goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes as I watched history unfold yesterday. It was beautiful! Go Obama! πŸ™‚



  10. pj on November 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I am SOOOOO ridiculously happy that he won! I have been in awe of him since the 2004 Democratic convention. It will be so nice to be proud of my president.
    I had a hard time containing my joy today!
    I stayed up until 11:30 and just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I’m about to watch his speech on TIVO. But just the little snippit this morning on the news brought me to tears.



  11. Chanel on November 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Hey Butthead,
    Kaelyn is a trip. Her lil fairy booty. I’m overjoyed and simply giddy about PRESIDENT OBAMA! All the Black folks in Wal-mart where smiling and cheesing all hard. But at the same time, I find myself a little upset. Proposition 8 passed in California and Mississippi passed a law that banned gay adoptions. Although I’m nowhere near marriage or near adoption, it saddens me that gays and lesbians who want to get married and have the right to be just as miserable as straight people (joke) aren’t able to do so. And it saddens me even more that so many gays and lesbians that want to adopt aren’t able to do so. It Sucks……BUT WE GOT A BLACK PRESIDENT!!!!! πŸ™‚



  12. Sara on November 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Now you’ve made me cry AGAIN. I’ve been leaking on and off for the last 24 hours. It’s the same for me. I look at my little light brown girl and see a whole new world of possibilities for her. What an amazing time we live in!



  13. Ann on November 5, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Beautiful post for such a beautiful occasion. One of my friends mentioned that when she was growing up, her model for a president was Reagan, and so she still thinks of presidents as being like him, now our children will grow up thinking presidents are like Barack Obama.



  14. Amy on November 5, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I just read your post and I think it is wonderful. I am not an Obama supporter and was disappointed with the election however, I am moved by the historical stamp this election will leave in history. It is wonderful for the African American community to witness such a change! Congrats on the win πŸ™‚



  15. journey to junior on November 6, 2008 at 9:31 am

    what a beautiful post! it has been an exhilarating week to say the least, and i, too, am so proud of how far this country has come.
    p.s. your daughter is SO adorable!



  16. gilrh on November 6, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    love this!
    and love that little one too.

    YES WE CAN. YES WE CAN. YES WE CAN.



  17. Queenie on November 6, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Yes, yes, yes!!!!



  18. SAHW on November 7, 2008 at 8:29 am

    How can you take me from laughing to tears all in the same post?? I am thrilled and overjoyed about what Obama's victory means for us too.