If you were to go back and ask this writer at age 8 or 9 who the most important African-American people are in history, my answer would most likely include the holy black trinity of black history month-- Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman. 13 years later I could almost guarantee you that the answers will be the same from the next generation of young African-Americans being shuffled through our public education system. And while there is nothing wrong with these answers, the question must be asked-- “have there been no admirable African-Americans since the 1960s?” If we were to take the representation of black people in the media, the answer would be an astounding “no.”
That is, until recently.
There is no arguing that there has never been a black man portrayed in the way that Barack Obama has been these past two and a half years. The American people gave gotten to know the Obamas as a competent, successful and intelligent family unit. A far cry from the imagery of rappers with bitches, basketball players with bitches and criminals with bitches that we have been drowning in for years on Black Entertainment Television. We have gotten to know a man who is an active part in his family's life. This was done in large part by the mainstream media around the world that for the first time have begun to see beyond the sterotypes and see the true potential every American has despite skin color.
This push forward towards the end of black stereotypes outnumbering positive imagery in our country is monumental. Black babies everywhere can finally see someone who looks like them on television in a position of power, and know that someday it will be them. I do not think I am being idealistic. If Americans can work through their pre-conceived notions of race to vote a black man into the Presidency, then I am confident that we can overcome all stereotypes about all races someday in my lifetime.