Pember: Feeling good and alright about Obama

"Like many people of color in this country, I share an ugly experience, the horrible “ah ha” moment when racism shows itself up close and personal.

My moment happened one lovely summer day in the small Wisconsin town of my youth. Just as I was preparing to join a yard full of neighborhood kids, Mary T. stepped firmly in front of me, barring the way.

“My mom says you can’t come into our yard because your mom is a nigger,” she stated officiously.

Sometimes we don’t realize how much something has hurt until the pain begins to leave us. Today a chunk of that pain planted by mean old Mrs. T. was lifted from me. It was lifted away as I witnessed Barack Obama, a man of color take the oath of office of the president of the United States of America. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the ceremony on television. They streamed from a heart wound I thought was long buried; I am now grateful it has begun to heal."

Get the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: With Barack Obama's swearing in, an old burden has lifted, and an old score been settled. (The Daily Yonder 1/20)