Readers Write to Grandchildren About Obama

'No Words To Describe'
Where do I begin my precious little ones? How I so wish I could be here to see you, to smell you, just to be in the same room with you to see what the world is like for you. But as life has it, I am not. I hope I have left an impression on your parents, my children, Thomas and Morgan. Your grandfather and I (Reginald T. & Rhonda E. Brown) had them late in life; we were in our 40's, so we knew that more than likely we would not be here when you were born.

But I have to say the world has been most interesting, and we are living and participating in history in the year of our Lord 2009, when our country elected our first African American President, the 44th one to be honored to serve. The word "elected" is so important, because that means the people voted and he was elected by their vote alone, which is also something we as African Americans could not always do. I was fortunate enough to see him when he came to our state of North Carolina, at a rally in Raleigh. Let me tell you: there are no words to describe the feeling of that day so I can only imagine what it was like on inauguration day in Washington, D.C. I have put together a scrapbook for Thomas and Morgan with clippings and articles, stamps and collectible items that I am hoping they will pass on to you so you can have documentation of the history your parents lived through with us, and hopefully they will remember and share their stories as well.

Well my dears, I close in saying I love you even though I do not know you, but I know you will have a part of us in you because your parents are a part of us and carry family names that we hope will make you proud. I know you will be spectacular children and grown ups, because your parents are now. Know we love you already, and we wish you happiness in whatever you choose in life. Know that if an African American can be president, you can DO AND BE ANYTHING you want with God in your life. Study hard and be the best you can be. I know you will. We love you more than anything.
Your Grandparents,
Reggie and Rhonda Brown

'The Catalyst for True Change'
Dearest Family Members,
I write you today to express my hope and fears for you and your futures.

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, the first African-American took the Oath of Office and became President of the United States of America (whether there still is a country with that name in your time).

I laughed when he messed up the Oath. It showed me that President Obama is a man just like all of us. He puts his pants on one leg at time, just like we all do. Always remember, that all people are the same, no one on this planet is more powerful than you nor should they attempt to hold power over you. Respect the office and position they hold, but respect the person for who they are. Another human being just like you NEVER should you be made to fear somebody because of what they may or may not be able to do to you. We are unique, unrepeatable miracles of God with their own individual talents and gifts that can benefit everybody. We just need a system that encourages and enables ALL people to realize those talents and gifts.

I cried when I saw the close to two million people at the inauguration, and the many millions more watching the event in the country and around the world that this country who only a short time ago in the grand scheme of things, considered people of African descent less than human, in fact, most deploringly, were considered by many to be a sort of hairless ape or chimpanzee. It made me realize even more profoundly that we truly are one people and share only one planet. We need to constantly do our best to take care of it and each other so no one has to suffer needlessly. All of us around the world only need to realize this.

Your family is descended from (like so many of us now from all around the world) people who came here from Europe for a better life. Your ancestors arrived in America in the early 1900's. Well after slavery was abolished in the United States, but, like former slaves and descendants of slaves, there was little equality here for them as well as women in general, and especially for descendants of African slaves. Much has changed in that (the 20th) century and the first eight years of the 21st. Legal segregation was done away with, though in my time there is 'voluntary' segregation (the old adage of like sticks with like, etc.). I hope that will change and I believe it is. People are considered 'equal' but there is still class separation by wealth and privilege, as we as separation due to race. The old wounds have not completely healed.

One of the most shameful things this country has ever done was perpetuate slavery and force so many people to work for somebody other than themselves without earning a decent living wage and to be considered property. I simply can never comprehend that a person would ever consider it proper and right to hold ownership of another human being. We still, in this time, need to do more to make sure all have an equality of wealth and hopefully in your time mankind has gotten past the notion that individuals are out to enrich only themselves but their gifts and accomplishments benefit all people without the desire to make a profit or withhold said accomplishments except to the highest bidder.

I truly believe this American named Barack Obama, who was the child of a Caucasian woman and a man from Kenya, Africa, can bring the change this country so desperately needs, and is the catalyst for true change for the rest of the world. I hope and pray in your time, the planet is truly united as one people, whose government is dedicated, as Abraham Lincoln (another President who is credited for setting the African slaves free), to "the proposition that all men are created equal…" and puts the betterment of humanity first and foremost among any other plan or priority.

Your Father, Grandfather, or Great Grandfather,
Tony DeLucia