When Donald Trump took the oath of office on a gray January morning in 2017, he laid out his vision for the United States under his leadership. “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease,” he said. “A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.” Nearly four years later, the divide in how we view the consequences of his first term remains large. But the nation is undeniably changed. From family separation, to nation-wide protests and economic volatility, to a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, Trump will leave behind a legacy—whether he’s reelected or not. We are telling the stories of seven individuals living with the consequences of Trump’s first term. You can read the rest of the stories here.
In February 2017, Tayo left Nigeria for the United States. (I am calling Tayo by her nickname because she feared that using her full name could threaten her green-card petition.) Two years earlier, a cousin who lived in New York had introduced her over the phone to a man he worked with; the two began a friendship that soon turned into a long-distance romance. The man, a Black American, told Tayo about his desire to visit Nigeria someday. He was a saving grace during a turbulent period of her life—her marriage was ending, and she was working long hours to open a school. He encouraged her work, and in the process, became an important source of emotional support. Tayo had only planned to come to New York City for a visit—to see family and to get a sense of the country’s education system. But when Tayo met the man in person, they fell in love and decided to get married. They wed in September, seven months after she had arrived in the country.