I was in the middle of an after work nap in the living room on Thursday when I thought I heard somebody shouting. I opened my eyes and realized that the somebody was Barack Obama, getting into his windup for the delivery of his final words, the way he used to do back when he was campaigning.
Damn! I guess Michael Jackson is finally dead.
As I listened to the end of President Obama's speech to the NAACP, where he broke into his patented rising black preacher cadence to finish off his address, I felt like we were all ready to get our mojo back.
When the HNIC (Head Negro In Charge) is in charge of the entire country, and not just Def Jam Records, or American Express, or an HBCU - not that any of those things are small accomplishments - the things he says really mean something.
The thing that he said that no national media source has talked, probably because they already had their articles prewritten, was about was his comment about the trip he and his family took to Africa to The Door Of No Return. After comparing the texts that were widely disseminated to what I was hearing on the video of the speech, I realized once again that between the information gap and bad information from our media, we really don't have a chance these days. So I transcribed EXACTLY what President Obama said in this section of his speech below - you can read along with the video if you start it at the 32:10 mark.
- "Some of you saw last week, in Ghana, Michelle and I took Malia and Sasha and my mother-in-law to Cape Coast Castle in Ghana. Some of you may have been there.
This is where captives were once imprisoned before being auctioned, where across an ocean so much of the African American experience began.
We went down into the dungeons, where the captives were held. There was a church above one of the dungeons...which tells you something…about saying one thing and doing another."
It may seem like a small thing, these few words, but in just those few seconds, I felt like the president was really talking to me about the America that still frustrates us even as it smiles and pats us on the back. Hundreds of years later, we are still doing the same thing, in our Senate, in our Congress, in our state capitols, in our corporations and our community organizations - talking about one thing and doing another.