A Letter to Barack Obama
I hope you will forgive me that I address you as a friend, but over the past year, I've come to feel that I know you as a friend.
The opportunity that we the American people have given you to help us confront the challenges facing us today is an enormous one. An enormous opportunity and an enormous task, but one that I believe you have the courage and skill needed to lead us to recovery.
We do not ask you to solve every problem, but that you honestly strive, along with the people you have chosen to guide and help you, to make our country and others around the world a place where we can meet in friendship and mutually solve the issues that face us.
I pray that God will guide you in your task and that our nation will come together to work as one body to aid you in your task ... we are a nation united by strength and loyalty and your guidance through the next 4 years will give us the focus and purpose needed to succeed in the quest for peace, prosperity and unity.
Today as I watched on television the first black American take the oath of office for the president of the United States, I closed my eyes and envisioned President Lincoln watching down from heaven and thinking, "It has finally come to pass." I am 60 years old, so I remember a lot about how things have evolved in this country that I am proud to call home. I am proud that Americans of all color and creed, can stand beside each other and call your neighbor, your brother or sister and reach a hand out in a time of need to anyone at any time, and how we all stick together in a time of great crisis. I believe in this country and for all it stands for. I believe in our leaders and I trust God will keep our new President and his family safe in these times of great frustration.
I was born a country girl, not too far from where President Lincoln was killed. I have spent much time in the historic tri-state area, and as I watched today from afar, I could not help but feel a great sense of pride in this nation. My brothers work for the union in the District of Columbia and helped build the stands for the inauguration for the last five presidents. What an honor!!!! Thanks to all of you proud Americans. Together we can continue to support the best country in the world in which to live. Pray for all of our leadership!!
Thank you President Lincoln for believing in, and serving America a long, long time ago.
As I sit here on this historical day, I wonder what my father and mother are thinking. Are they thinking about the struggles that they endured? Struggles of poverty and racial discrimination, struggles that were associated with manhood, did my father have to constantly remind himself that he was a man? Everyday being confronted by a society that demanded he call even boys "sir," when he himself was old enough to be their fathers. Or how many white people's houses did my mother clean? Just to make a decent living, because no other jobs were available. Or maybe daddy thought about when he was one of the first African American troops, to actually step foot in Germany to fight for a country that didn't respect him as a human being. I am sure that the streets of heaven are lined with people who have paved the way for President Barack Obama to be where he is today.
For me, I am so full of pride and love I can hardly sit still. Love for a God that says, "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord," who promises us that if we just believe in Him, that He will make us the head and not the tail.
How many hymns, spirituals have been sung? How many prayers have been prayed, how much pain as a people we have endured for a day like today to come? Too many to count—from the first African that was forced on that ship, to the unarmed black man shot violently in the streets of San Francisco by police, primarily because he was black.
Or what about the thousands who suffered after Hurricane Katrina, facing being forgotten once again by a country that was built on their and their ancestors backs? How much blood was shed? How many bodies lay beneath the dirt of Mississippi that never reached their full God-given purpose in life?
I am also proud of a people who define the word perseverance, I am proud to be African American everyday, but today the swelling of pride is indescribable. Thank you, Daddy and Mommy, for every sacrifice, for every time you were told that "We don't serve your kind here." Thank you for praying for a change to come, thank you for teaching us to be proud of who we are, in spite of how you were treated.
My father was born in 1907, and endured many hard times, but I believe today, if still alive, he would say it was all worth it to see this historical day come to pass. For every man, woman and child who suffered for being Black, Latino, Asian, Indian, Arab, or a combination of any of them, A NEW DAY HAS COME TO AMERICA. No longer does this nation see us as less than the status quo, now let us not see ourselves as no less than being fearfully and wonderfully made, each of us being created for a God-given purpose to tell someone about the Goodness of our God. Let us begin to love one another as God so undeservingly loves each of us, and let us pray that we can be the "city" that sits upon a hill, shining forth freedom, peace, and unity for the entire world to see.
Lord have mercy on our President and his family, show them new ways of making our nation greater. Rest your Holy Spirit on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In your word you say that, "If my people who were called by name would humble themselves and pray, and TURN from their evil ways, THEN will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins, and HEAL their land." God is faithful, to forgive and heal. We need a healing in America; Lord let it begin with us.
Tanya C. Goggans