• Darius

Obama out

Updated: Apr 30, 2020



As I reflect on the presidency of Barack Obama, I think back to the night of his first election. I was at a watch party in my community and the energy was electric. There tears, high-fives, and thank you Jesuses. A few of us sorta basked in what seemed like a surreal moment (much like the 2016 election.)


I immediately went home and wrote two poems. They have very different tones; they are below:


It’s Still America on November 4, 2008

A moment in history;

a modern day miracle.

But amidst all the excitement

I can’t help but be cynical.

It’s hard to believe that we’ll have a black president

in the same slave nation where Jena 6 still exists.

Shit.

Behind the window where my principal sits,

a confederate flag is a reminder of this.

Though we’ve sang cumbayas and marched melodic miles,

and our blood pumps in the heart of this land,

and we may have dreams of rainbow coalitions,

And chant to the hills, YES WE CAN!

Understand.

Racism is the ink that the declaration was signed with

the same pen that wrote us in as three-fifths

in the same hand that lifts the unjust gavel

and brings it down on the brown; less time for sand than gravel.

As this thing unravels,

we’ll see how ready this country really is.

To think that we are is a tough pill too swallow,

cuz I still can’t walk into most department stores and not get followed.

Maybe tomorrow; maybe then it’ll all make sense

when we officially have a black president.

Maybe a school in little Haiti will be on par with South Beach.

Maybe the price for college won’t be so far out of reach.

Maybe along with his eloquent speech and elegant smiling

will come an end to racial profiling.

Maybe we’ll see more computers and books

than crack vials and pistols.

And maybe you’ll make Marvin’s rendition of the Anthem official.

And hope your reflexes are good, so the bullets and arrows miss you.

But after all the tears and tissue and cause to celebrate,

It’s still America on November 4, 2008.

And the other…

This Victory, That Dream

On November 4th, 2008

Barack Obama was elected president of these United States.

Ahhh, this victory;

Breaking the cruel chains of history.

Putting ointment on open wounds of misery

that seemingly would never heal.

Allowing an entire people to see hope manifested,