On the day Barack Obama was nominated for president, rapper Kanye West lamented that his mother, Oklahoma City native Donda West, hadn’t lived to experience it.
“It’s an incredible time to be around. I wish my momma could have seen this day,” West said at a performance in Denver, according to the Associated Press.
On Facebook, the social networking site, several black members wished their parents were still alive to see Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night.
It was a refrain to be echoed by many black Americans.
Both my parents, longtime Chicago South Side residents, would have been proud of Obama and the history he made Thursday night. Proud of his accomplishments as a successful Chicagoan, yes; but also as an African-American contender for president of the United States.
The day would have meant something to my mother, Virginia, who died in 2000, but even more to my father, William, who died just nine months ago. I remember taking my father to see President Bill Clinton speak at a convention in Chicago in the 1990s. Clinton touched older black Americans like few presidents before him. But as much as my father loved Clinton, I can imagine him watching Obama on TV at Denver’s NFL stadium and thinking that times really had changed.
As one of many black Americans with deceased parents, I can tell you that our mothers and fathers were on our minds last night. But the convention is over and the race has just begun. Obama made history, but now, my mother would say, it’s time to choose the best man for the job, no matter what color his skin.