This is one of those watershed moments in US history that we should all celebrate and note well. Senator Barack Obama’s nomination as the first person of color, and the first African American, ever nominated by a major US political party for president is a moment that points up a great many important things about this country.
Certainly, central to those things is how hard so many Americans have worked for this moment, and most especially the 389-year struggle of African Americans to break free of the chains of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and contemporary racism.
While we are a long way from that final moment of Black liberation from white-imposed discrimination and hostility, we can thank African American men and women–and their many supporters in other US racial groups–for pressing us to this next major step on the long road to ultimate liberation from this country’s foundational reality of racial oppression.
At every major step–the abolitionist movement of the 1840s-1860s, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and now the continuing rights movements attempting to finally desegregate US society, including politics at the top levels–African Americans and their allies have pressed and made this country a better and more democratic country. And a country moving ever closer, if way too slowly, to the “liberty and justice for all” rhetoric so loudly proclaimed from this society’s beginning.