As we honor the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of how important is it to teach my children that their mixed race should never limit them. Reflecting today on Dr. King’s message, I am reminded of November 4, 2008, when I sat in bed, tears streaming down my face, as I watched Barack Obama win the United States Presidential election.
On that night, I wrote a letter to my oldest son, Isaiah, who was 13 years old at the time and better able to grasp the magnitude of this election. Following are the words that I shared with him.
I hope that you will watch the Obama video that I emailed to you, and begin, in some small way, to realize the importance of this night. I also hope that you watched some of Obama’s win because you truly saw history in the making. I must confess that I never believed, that in my lifetime, I would see a black man become President of the United States.
While I understand that you don’t fully grasp the significance of this event; someday you will. I feel overcome with joy and hope today. For the first time, I feel that I can look you and your brother in the eye and tell you that, with hard work, you can become whatever you want. The doors are wide open for you now.
President Obama was raised by a white, single mother and his father was not actively involved in his life. Look at what he achieved despite those obstacles. He had the love of his mother and his grandparents and he became a great man. Son, this is the hope that I have for you. You are a beautiful combination of black and white and surrounded by more love than you can comprehend. Your intelligent is going to take you far in life.
I am honored and blessed to be your mother.
I love you, Mama
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.