Del Williams


I have seen the Promised Land

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Martin Luther King, Jr

When I was growing up the words and assassination of Martin Luther King were still very fresh on my parents mind. We watched his speeches and the movies. I even memorized his "I Have a Dream" speech for some reason I don't recall now.

Today, President Barack Obama took the oath to serve this Country for a second term as President. There were many who feared that he would never make it through his first because the belief still lingers that America kills good Black men. I must admit, even I wondered at times because it seemed too "easy." I feared someone was waiting to kill the dream, again.

Barack Obama Takes Oath

But forty years can change a nation. There are no separate counters and bathrooms anymore. Those who are genuinely racist are shamed and silenced by those who used to share their belief. In a way, the obstacles of my parents generation have been eliminated, except in our own mind. Where before we didn't see the role model for what we wanted to be, there has been one now, Barack Obama

I grew up learning that Black people could only go so far because the White man would keep him down. I have never ascribed to that view because I have always taken it as an excuse to settle for less than the best for yourself. Most of the failures of my life have been by my hand, not that of another. In fact, some of my biggest champions have been those I was taught wanted me to live defeated.

Obama is the epitome of what Martin Luther King and thousands of others marched for that we as a people could not only have a dream, but live it. He was part of the vision King saw over the Mountain top in the promise land. He saw that future generations would rise up and fulfill their destiny because the slave mentality and chains of racism would no longer be able to hold them down.

This generation now has a hope that has not been there before. We have a reason to be proud. Martin Luther King and Obama are role models who didn't just pave the way for us, but showed us how to get there. More so, they showed us that we could get there. My dad never thought we would see a Black man sitting in the White House this lifetime, and that proved true for him due to his death in 1980, but I have seen it in my lifetime. I have seen what he could only imagine...the promised land


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