It’s Time to Live the Dream
By P. Newman-Harris
Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming. For almost ten years I have been writing poems about racial unity, believing that one day we would put our differences aside and walk together with pride. I was beginning to believe I’d never see that day come into fruition. Then, on November 4, 2008, America did just that and elected the first Black American President. It is a day that will go down in history. The swearing in of America’s first Black President will signify the beginning of a new era for our country. For black America, it will also be the realization of a dream. Never since the death of Dr. King, have I seen so much hope in the eyes of Black Americans. Like Dr King, our President has the ability not only to inspire hope, but to inspire people into action. It is, indeed, a gift from God.
So many people are talking about how having a black American president in office has inspired them like never before. Even the men holding up the wall at the corner liquor store, are talking of something more. If there ever was a time for black America to do more it is now. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels, so to speak. Our work has just begun. Winning the election is only the beginning of Barack Obama’s job. We can’t expect him to change the world overnight, but we can expect him to do his best. Just like we expect a lot from him, we should expect a lot from ourselves. The weight of America’s success should not be placed upon the President’s shoulders alone. Although it is very important to pray for the safety of the President and his family, our responsibility shouldn’t end there.
We have an even greater responsibility to ourselves to be the best we can be. It is not Barack Obama’s job to fulfill our dreams. Whether or not we fail or succeed is up to each of us alone. With the economy in such turmoil, it is going to be harder than ever before to make ends meet., but we must not lose hope. When I was growing up I used to hear people say, “When the going gets rough, the tough get going. Well, the going is rough and it is time for us to get going. A lot of us have been stagnated in fear, placing the blame for our failures on every thing and everyone else but ourselves. If we are going to move ahead, we have to be honest with ourselves by taking responsibility for our own choices.
Just like it is a new day for America as a whole, it can be a new day for each and every one us, a day when we can finally put the past behind us and move ahead. Barack Obama has inspired us to believe that we can. We must not disappoint him, but most importantly, we must not disappoint ourselves. We have been blessed to see this day come to pass, that alone, places a great responsibility upon our shoulders. It is now our task to be keepers of the flame of hope. For we are visualizing the dreams of the many who died hoping and wishing for this day, but it is not enough to visualize the dream, we have to live the dream. Black America, it is time to live the dream.