President Barack Obama gave his farewell speech at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The energy was frantic, joyous and anticipatory. Eight years have flown by. Our first Black President along with his family demonstrated a class and resilience that embodies the spirit of Black people.
As our 44th president was introduced, the crowd of 10K+ cheered for him but he appeared humble and focused on saying goodbye. He greeted everyone and soon acknowledged the first lady, making it clear he could not have done this without his wife. She is his rock and represented the country in a way that will not be rivaled for years to come. Michelle Obama is strength, poise, elegance and power.
I think many Black people wanted that moment where President Obama throws caution to the wind and says what he really feels. We wanted him to hold the United States fully accountable for the atrocities of slavery. We want him to speak directly to the communities of Chicago that have been victims of rampant gun violence and the scourge of death that seems unending. We wanted him to say something that had to do with us. It didn’t happen and we understand why. Obama has truly been a president for all people.
President Obama has accomplished many things in his eight years. He lifted the United States out of a depression. The largest percentage of the country to ever have health insurance is a result of his administration’s hard work. If he were to be remembered for just those two accomplishments it would be fitting. However, the two most impactful accomplishments of President Obama was being a Black face holding the highest position in the land and being able to survive 8 years and not being harmed.
President Obama’s speech was exactly what it should have been, but the tear he shed for his wife when he said her name showed us what it really is, he sacrificed his family in the attempt to unify a nation. We honor him for that.