on the misrealization of the black presidency / "after a black president proves to be just as ordinary..."

exclusive feature
Wilhelm von Schadow
{Brooklyn, NY}
The Liberator Magazine


The election of the first black president can really only be truly appreciated by those over 40. It marks a kind of conclusion to the Baby Boomer narrative: begin with Jim Crow, fight against it, conclude with a rearranged political understanding and crown the achievement with a black president. A black president seemed impossible to their generation; it seemed to be an inevitability to our own. Having missed the release of the hounds and the blasting of fire hoses, having witnessed police brutality and rioting as anomalies rather than everyday occurrences, our generation is far removed from the true impact of the last election. We merely aped the elders' enthusiasm because our own generation has yet to bring about its own truly definitive and unifying cultural event(s).

Because today's nigga has yet to articulate any real qualms with the political order he cannot see the election of Obama as anything other than run of the mill. If the elder generation of niggas seek larger concessions from the President on behalf of the nigga community it is only a result of their "conclusion" not tying all of their loose ends. We see a similar behavior when a puppy, having eaten its large heaping of food, still continues to lick the empty bowl in hopes that some small morsel will be found. He would do better to hunt for another meal than go on scraping his bowl.

The current nigga generation has not yet defined their "loose ends" or even their salient issues in the way previous niggas advocated for desegregation and equal opportunity. Those policies now paint the reality of young niggas.

What is of supreme interest for our generation is the fact that the seemingly revolutionary election of a black president, after all the dust has settled, has proven to illicit more of the same disparaging yawns and anxieties that niggas once reserved for ambivalent or hostile white presidents. Compounding that realization is another ominous question: After a black president proves to be just as ordinary as all the others what sort of president can we ever place our "hope" in again?

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