I grew up in a racist world. When I was in first grade, I remember reading from the Dick and Jane books. One of the books or chapters was called "Our Colored Friends."
The title now seems quite racist, but I imagine it must have been quite revolutionary for 1968 to be showing African-Americans as friends and peers to white people. Nevertheless, I also witnessed much bigotry and hatred toward blacks. Sadly it usually came from fellow members of my religion--people who should have known better. Happily, my parents seemed to never tolerate any racist behavior or words.
This past week, when our nation elected Barack Obama as its next president, I felt such pride and excitement for the promise of better things to come. Pride for a country that is starting to finally live up to what Dick and Jane taught me 40 years ago. Excitement for what this new president's election will mean for the future.
My children and grandchildren will truly be living in a differnt world from the one I grew up in. They will know that any man could truly grow up to become president. Now, if only my daughter and future grand daughters could have proof that they, too, could aspire to whatever they hope for and work for.