From The Nation
On Monday the New York Times reported that the percentage of black Americans who believe race relations in America are generally good has doubled since July. This statistic forces me to ask: why are African Americans feeling so good about our country in a time of economic crisis and international conflict?
It is not just the fact of a black president. Instead, with everyone analyzing the 100-day mark of Obama’s administration, I think the answer lies in understanding this historic moment through a black cultural lens. I believe African Americans are feeling racially optimistic because they respect how our first Brother President is handling his business. Not all black people of course; there is a group clamoring for “accountability.” But the polls are clear that most black people remain enthusiastic supporters of this president.
In January Obama kicked things off with the ultimate political party. African Americans stood with numb fingers and toes on the National Mall to watch a day we never thought would come. Obama had Mary J. Blige singing on the weekend, Aretha in her Sunday-going-to-meeting-hat celebrating on Tuesday morning, and Beyonce serenading on Tuesday night. It was an unrivaled R&B trifecta, challenging even the Essence festival.