What It Meant To Some, II


[Re-posted] A reader writes:

I am a 36 year old African American woman.  I have two girls ages 10 and 8.  The country does not get the full import of this moment.  My daughters and I sat together along with my husband to watch Michelle Obama tonight.  Mr. Sullivan, we were all in tears.  This is a day that cannot be fully described.  This country has systematically oppressed Black women for centuries.  My ancestors were slaves and my great, great, great, grandmothers raped and treated as property.  My daughters have very few Black women to look up to in popular culture as role models.  They do not feel seen, they are not held up as the standards of American beauty.   We shed tears tonight as a family because Michelle (with her elegance and grace) is holding all of us up with her.  You don't understand the burden that she bears.

No, I don't. How could I? But as she spoke of somehow being able to reach for the American dream, through struggle and disdain and marginalization, it wasn't just about race or gender - but about all those things that Americans have overcome. I couldn't help but think, perhaps solipsistically, of my wedding a year ago this week. And what it means. And what it would have meant to countless gay people who, for centuries, were brutalized, mocked, jailed, murdered and beaten for who they were. And I get a part of this in a different way. And am glad.

(Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty.)