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.