Inaugurating Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America was like being in a civil rights march without an opposing force; like watching the Apollo moon landing without the need for a telescope; like the end of apartheid, with all of the tears of joy.
America is finally growing up. When we all can acknowledge our entire history, not just the attractive parts, when we all can accept completely the existence of perverse injustices that dominated our pasts - when the entire story of where we came from and how we got to here as a nation is recognized, fully and without restraint - the affirmations we cry out in celebration will ring truer, and the declarations we shout to the rooftops in commemoration shall carry more weight than they ever have before.
Indentured servitude, slavery, segregation, integration - Black America 5.0 is upon us, but even as it includes all of these things, it is bound by none of them. Collaboration is the last mile, the final steps in this journey to be equally accepted into all aspects of American life. Black America 5.0 will be tricky - there are going to be times, in fact, when you will wonder where you end and the rest of the world begins.
Change is good. But it is not quite as simple as flipping a switch in a dark room, instantly turning on the light. I don't know exactly what the steps are that we need to take to travel this final mile, or what order they need to be executed in, or how much the process will demand of us. But what I do know is two things: it will take the willingness and determination of the majority of this country to get there, and we already have all the tools we need right now to get started today.
Congratulations, America, on reaching a milestone for the ages.