How I grew with Barack Obama in the White House

How I grew with Barack Obama in the White House

[F]rom the time I was 15 to 23, I have had the privilege of growing into my blackness with a reflection of myself in the White House. During these formative years of political awakening, it is no coincidence that the indifference I felt about my blackness began to shift with the election of our first black president. And today, my political participation has become not an option, but a duty.

For me, this shift began on January 20, 2009, when the years of doubt became a moment of elation during the inauguration ceremony. On that day, black folks throughout the United States and abroad were endowed with much more than a political victory….

Leading up to the 2008 presidential election, I had a casual party affiliation because of what my parents believed and how they voted—Democratic. I knew the Iraq War was a quagmire. I could remember as far back as the 2000 election, the hanging chads and the pandemonium that led to the Bush administration. I could sense the frustration growing up as I remember the friends of my parents expressing disdain toward Republican policies. But I was far from a shaped and polished political being.

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