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Reclaiming the Dream

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Surveys conducted by many news polls revealed that most African Americans believe the dream described by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in August of 1963 has been fulfilled.  Their optimism is not mirrored in reality.  To suggest that King's dream has been fulfilled implies that the struggles of African Americans have finally been resolved.  Some would suggest that the struggle is over in light of President Obama's victory, although much needed work remains.  It is my belief that for many of us we have finally arisen from a somber sleep to the dilemmas we face as Americans.   We have been thirsting for change but unable to produce it, thereby convinced of the futility of the effort.  For so long, Americans have been enslaved by the mental chains of race, class, gender and sexual orientation.   However, tremendous strides have been made towards making the dream a reality.  For the first time in my life, I am awake.

Appropriately titled, "Renewing America's Promise", the theme of the Inaugural Ceremony moved to carry the message of President Obama's campaign platform into his presidency.  Central to Obama's policy is the task of inspiring the American people to carry out their role in the process of our government, enabling us to seize our shared destiny.

While we have yet to overcome the harsh realities of racism and sexism in our country, we have broken the regime of silence and forged an understanding that highlights the resilience of American determination to heal and to reconcile the disparities.

As a people, we must recognize that Dr. King's dream has not yet been realized but that the desire to do so has been awakened in the millions of people who stood witness to the 44th President's inauguration.

The race to The White House laid one more tile in the historic mosaic of liberty, freedom, opportunity and hope for all people.  Diverse voices rang clear across the globe, unified in their support for a candidate who seemed to bear the torch not merely for one race, but all men and women devoted to Democracy's promise.

The Presidential Inauguration held on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 was one more step down a road towards equality in our country, paved in part by a black Minister from Georgia who coined the credo "We Shall Overcome".

President Obama's diversified upbringing is a testimony to the virtues he urges our nation to adopt: humility and perseverance.  We have high hopes and expectations of his leadership in this time of great need.  May his administration be the beginning of a new legacy that commands hope, change and the progress of the human race.

Today, I am proud to be an American who happens to be an African American.  We must continue the struggle to ensure that our actions and what we make of ourselves speaks to our character rather than circumstance.
 

 

ShaVonne Honor is an active children's advocate and community organizer. She has contributed articles to local publications in New Jersey and continues to write passionately about issues that matter. ShaVonne's time is divided between New York (more...)
 

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