Banter on Tulips and a Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z and John Coltrane, Outkast and Othello.


In My Rearview

The Obamas are in the House! Yay!

Hey family. So much stuff has happened since I've seen you last. So grab a mason jar of lemonade, a healthy slice of cornbread and sit on the porch with me a spell . . .

This year, we elected and inaugurated our first black president. (Yay for last bastion of priviledge being felled. Somewhere Thurgood Marshall is giving Charles Hamilton Houston a dap.) I tried to watch the inauguration as someone who had seen black people for the very first time would have. Or, alternatively the way my great-grandfather, a sharecropper from Camp Hill, Alabama, might have watched.

I was honestly too floored to move when Aretha ascended the podium with her Sunday best on. What a day, what a day. And what a hat! I thought she properly reflected the solemnity of the occassion in a way that only a Detroit millinery could have. (Let's face it, before that day, black folks' inaugurations = Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, weddings or funerals). Go Re Re.
"Time to save the world. Where in the world is all the time?
So many things I still don't know.
So many times I've changed my mind." -Erykah Badu, Mama's Gun

In the months that have followed, there has been a whirlwind in the White House. Michelle O and two little black girls skipping off of Air Force One. Two years ago, who would have thunk it? I pinch myself often and realize how cool it is to live in America. It ain't perfect, but anything can happen. We thought so before, but we really know it now. The possibilities are infinite.

I know it too. I've spent my last semester in law school reflecting on the blessing of being here. Here on this earth, but specifically here in this particular place I'm fortunate to occupy. As Nina Simone once sang, "To be young, gifted and black. Oh what a lovely, precious dream. "

Sure the economy is tanking. Corporate America is questioning the very foundation upon which it was built. Many of my classmates are scrambling for employment, deferred, fired or worried that they will be. In these times, we realize that in many things, the old texts are right. Greed is ever present ("For the love of money is the root of all evil.") But hope is ever present too. ("He came not to condemn the world, but so the world through him might be saved.") From time-to-time, when we're really paying attention, we see slivers of why we're really here. (A plane lands in New York City's Hudson River in the winter's cold, sans fatalities or injuries, even for a tiny baby. *Smile* Yeah, thank goodness someone else sits at the wheel.)

Personally, that assurance has never been more real to me. In two weeks, I will walk across the stage at my law school graduation. It was something that my father first dreamed for me when I was nine and told him I wanted to be the first black woman Supreme Court justice. Lol. And so it will be a (tears up a little) moving experience to be doing it without him in the audience. I want to know what he would have said. I want to see how he would have looked at me after I shook the Dean's hand. It gets me still when I repeat his old mantra ... I remember him saying it each time as if it were the first: "The sky is the limit."

I have been through a lot since he passed three Novembers ago. Worked alot. Learned alot. Sometimes cried. Two Saturdays from now, I know he will be watching from afar. I will celebrate in spirit with those of you who have willed me through school by sending good thoughts. Or sending up big prayers. Or little prayers. Or emails, calls, smiles, or blog comments (like Mahogany why does your monkey tail only post three times a year!? Lol). Know that I am eternally grateful.

And to my Dad, all I gotta to say is watch me fly!
M. Elle
*sings* "That's all I have, ain't got no' mo." (Erykah B.)