This morning, Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, will take the oath of office and begin his second term. Although black folks are crunk, the event does not seem as grand as the first time. Four years ago I, having managed to cop two of second most important documents in black history (just behind freedom papers, it seems); witnessed little black kids holding hands skipping while humming “Hail to the Chief,” saw grown black folks cloaked in more red, white, and blue than I knew any self-respecting Negro owned; and despite the fact that there was no Obama version of Hawaiian Punch, saw the best in bootleg presidential wares (Obama handpuppets!?!?) D.C. had to offer.
It was simultaneously fascinating and sad to see black folks on their Sally Field so hard. But having spent most of my life on the outskirts of cool, I know what it feels like to want to be down #brandynorwood. And Obama does his part; he gets it. He understands his election’s importance to many black folks and he makes empty gestures accordingly. As such, along with the Lincoln Bible, Martin Luther King’s Bible will be featured at today’s inauguration. As an acknowledgement of the King federal holiday, President Obama will take the oath of office with the King and Lincoln Bibles under his hand.