Monday, January 05, 2009
It's Always Some Little Girl, Looking All Alone, Surrounded By Grownups, With Her Hair Done Up. But It's Different, This Time.
This morning, driving into work, coffee mug in hand, news radio on, I was informed that several of the streets that I normally take were blocked because the Secret Service was taking the lovely young daughters of President Elect Obama from the stately and patrician Hay Adams Hotel to Sidwell Friends private school, where they were beginning the new semester.
And, I'm old. In my own lifetime, I traveled the South with my family and walked past the Colored Bathroom into the Women's Bathroom, sat at lunch counters where "colored children" couldn't sit, watched my dad attend the March on Washington and the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King. In my own lifetime, the Misses Obama wouldn't have been allowed in either the Hay Adams (as guests) nor at a prestigious DC private school.
And so, on 20th St., N.W., DC, this morning, I just broke down in deep, gasping sobs. Sobs for Thurgood Marshall. Sobs for little Linda Brown of Brown v. Board of Education, who wanted to go to school with her white playmates, Mona, Guinevere, and Wanda. Sobs for all of those who gave so much to make America live up to her promise.
Today, two little African American girls traipsed off from one of DC's finest hotels to one of DC's finest schools. We routed traffic all around the city in order to make it happen (because George and Laura Bush are jerks.) And, for just a minute, I am proud of us. I am proud of how far we've come in just one lifetime. Go, America. You go, Girl. That was pretty cool.
Thanks to the folks at Eschaton who helped me find the pictures that I was remembering.