Written by Jesse Muhammad
Originally published 11.5.08
Congratulations to Barack Obama on becoming the 44th President of the United States of America. I pray for the safety of him and his family.
As I type this blog, I am smiling at the countless text messages from my family, friends and associates who are elated at what has just took place. Some of the text messages were serious and others were simply funny forwards.
Regardless, I felt their spirit. The thought that in our lifetime…a Black man…has become the President.
For some reason when Obama walked out on the stage to deliver his victory speech, I thought of a woman who had a major impact on my life: Mrs. Christopher.
Mrs. Christopher was my first-grade teacher at Fonwood Elementary located on the Northeast side of Houston. At that time my name was Jesse James Earl Jackson, so you can easily imagine the type of attention that name brought me on a daily basis.
Because it was during that time that a civil rights activist with the same first and last name as mine had made a bid for Presidency that shook up the country.
I remember Mrs. Christopher telling me “You too can run for President one day. Your name may be a sign. A Black person can be President. You can do anything you want to do.” My response to her was always “Yes maam”.
She said it on many occasions to me and was always encouraging all of her students to be the best no matter what.
Well over twenty years later, Mrs. Christopher you were right. Neither my classmates nor myself did it but we watched tonight as your words came true. Also my name has changed since then.(smile)
Becoming the President of the U.S. is not for everyone to accomplish but we all have a purpose for being here. Tonight shows that when you have a strong work ethic, a powerful team, a supporting family, and a deep desire to be the best, nothing is impossible. Being a “tech-junkie”, I marveled from the start at the technological strategy of the Obama campaign and how it has set a standard. Perfection.
So when the victory parties have ended, the confetti is swept away, the champagne bottles are empty and the camera lights are turned off, we all have to awaken the next day to the inevitable questions of: What’s next? What am I going to do? What will I do of greatness today?
Remember, Mediocrity is Not in Your D.N.A.