Despite my parent’s numerous attempts, I didn’t start paying close attention to politics and the news until President Obama first started campaigning for office. I grew up in a particularly caucasian neighborhood and our Obama sign was the only one in our immediate area. In fact, we’ve lived in that house since I was in the first grade and the only signs that ever made it to my Dad’s prized front yard were to help Obama campaign and to announce that my sister and I graduated from high school. Dassit.
I remember being in the living room as my parents discussed why they were voting for Obama instead of Hillary and the discussion going to the tune of “yes, Hillary is a woman and it’s time for us to have a woman President. But, Obama is a Black man. In 8 years we’ll vote for her but we’re voting for him today. And Alyssa, even though you can’t vote, you’re voting for him too.” I vividly remember wearing my Obama shirt on Voting Day that year. At the time I only had one Obama shirt so I was kinda salty that the next day the entire school showed up in Obama gear and I was in a regular shirt.
Some time later I made the decision to go to Howard University. At Howard, I had the opportunity to watch him give a speech from the rose garden and then to talk to some reporters in the Press Room about the current state of journalism. My entire class played it cool, but I just saw Obama and smiled ear to ear while I was standing on that podium posing for a picture. It was great. Between being in journalism classes that required me to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the latest ongoings down the street from The Mecca and falling into a friend group of future lawyers who consider it social suicide if you didn’t hear about the 12 o’clock breaking news by 12:05, and Twitter being a beautiful place to get the news, I’ve learned a lot about the man’s politics, shortcomings, beautiful family, and how his decisions affected my tribe.
The night that he was elected for a second term, my pledge brothers and I, along with everyone else in D.C., walked to the White House and partied in celebration that our President had four more years. It was a great time to be Black in D.C. Our President was still black and our Lambo was still a beautiful shade of blue. It was perfect that as I began to learn more about the rich history of my ancestors in my math class, I watched royalty in the White House.
By now you’ve seen all of the absolutely glorious pictures of him living his best life on a beach with Beyoncé’s Beyoncé in all of their #BlackLove glory. I hope that they’re able to stay in that space forever because they deserve nothing but the best for giving us all the audacity of hope, the promise of change, and a groundbreaking eight years.