Not simply an African-American with an African (or Afro-Arabic) name. Not the distant descendant of an African stolen from home.
The direct son of the African Muslim after whom he was named, an African who was himself born and raised in a Kenyan village. Not a city, you (we) pseudo-bourgeois city slickers:
And not only that (my mother just reminded me): he is also the son of Ann Dunham – a single-parent mother.
Just a year ago – one simple year – if you had told me that an African (much less one with a distinctly non-brofolized name like ‘Barack Hussein Obama’… ahem) would walk his family into the White House with the mandate to occupy it for the next four years, I would have told you that our juju men just aren’t that visionary.
I have worried for awhile now whether there is another African alive who could fill Madiba’s frankly gigantic shoes on the world stage in case (God forbid) we lose him. I may have to wait awhile for someone born on this continent to do that. For now though it looks like Obama is the one and, although he is infinitely more American than he is African, his victory will inspire many of our young regardless.
It’s going to be one hell of a party today/tonight/this week/the rest of this year/next year, all across the continent – the world – and justly so. Even though it’s what happens after the party that really counts, what just happened is historic and must be appreciated, celebrated…
… and only then absorbed.