On Tuesday afternoon, January 20, 2008 I walked out of a prestigious Beverly Hills department store and while waiting for my car to be pulled out of the valet, I stood next to a group of African American women. I smiled and asked if they’d watched the inauguration, “Honey, you bettcha,” one said. “Our country has been blessed,” I said. Another woman gently stepped forward and without hesitation we hugged one another. It was this openness, bliss and overwhelming sense of unity which reverberated across our country as a result of a shining star inhabiting the White House. I am humbled by the renewed sense of American pride across the generations, cultures and races and the huge spill of emotions across the country as Obama took his oath.
I was born in Brooklyn in the 1950s and my parents owned a general store on Broadway. Even though the racial divide was huge, I had many African American friends and dated a few. My favorite singers were Jimi Hendrix and Harry Belafonte and you can ask my mother how many times I read the book and watched the movie, To Sir With Love. . I also remember reading the greatly underrated (and under-read) The Man by Irving Wallace and loving the idea of having an African-American president.
For writers, I believe Obama brings inspiration and appreciation for the power of words. I have read his books and listened to him reading them on tape. Not only does he strongly believe in the power of words, but he is a master at putting them together, with great metaphor and elegance.
Michelle is also a special and accomplished woman. As a journaling advocate I was delighted to see that she gifted Laura Bush with a journal, with the first page dated today. This was such a gracious gesture.
There are not enough adjectives to describe how happy I feel. It is the perfect time to journal all these emotions.
Here are some ideas for you to consider in your own journal:
* What would your deceased parent/grandparent say about this moment in history?
* Did you ever think we’d have an African-American President?
* What do you think the world thinks of America?
* Do you think Obama will be given a larger grace period than his predecessors?
* What kind of First Lady will Michelle be?