Donate

Download audio (MP3)

Era of the Obamas
The president's re-election gives African-Americans like Jamila Chambers new belief that America includes them, too.

By Jamila Chambers

It's hard to describe how I feel as a thirty-eight year old African-American woman in the "Era of the Obamas." I am an audacious dreamer and have invested my life in encouraging and equipping others to create a life without limits. But, it wasn't until President Barack Obama was re-elected that I realized that I had capacity to believe in everything, except an African-American President.

I was raised by parents who came of age in the 60s during the time in which the "revolution would NOT be televised." My generation took over right where my parents left off and traded the Watts Riots for the Rodney King Riots and some twenty-seven years later…

We still couldn't "all just get along." I lived in a black affluent area of Los Angeles called "Baldwin Hills." But, I wasn't "black-enough" to fit in on Palmwood Drive in "The Jungles" where my best friend and Denzel Washington's  "Training Day" character resided.  I was "too black" for my classmates in the Pacific Palisades where the Senators' children and their secret service agents were my peers.

In my lifetime I couldn't buy a greeting card, or purchase a children's doll that reflected who I am.  And like the "Barry" that existed before the world knew about "Barack," I would prefer to simply be called "J" because my classmates either couldn't or wouldn't correctly pronounce "Jamila."

Now, I am often overwhelmed by the privilege I have of turning to our nation's first family to see a mirror image of my own, complete with two daughters who wear cornrows in their hair.

I've learned that we all want to give and receive love, to grow, to realize our dreams, and to know that our life matters. The "Era of the Obamas" has given me the confidence to look my two girls, and all of our children of every race, gender, and ethnicity in the eye and tell them that "they can," and mean it!

With a Perspective, I am Jamila Chambers.

Jamila Chambers is a life coach and motivational Speaker.  She lives in Fairfield.

Become a KQED sponsor

Audio Archive

Episodes by Date

Calendar is loading...
Loading...