The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, was not ashamed when she said that her ancestors were slaves. However, she is now the wife of the first black president of America, a dream she helped make come true. She was not offended when some people examined her roots, something done with every American president and his wife. And during Obama's electoral campaign, the information on his roots, as well as those of his wife, were available.
Then CNN went to find facts. The CNN team headed for Friend Field farms, near Georgetown, South Carolina. They passed the "Slaves' Route," a reminder of the dark age of slavery. In the 19th century, Jim Robinson, Mrs. Obama's first grandfather, lived in this place as a humble slave. He was forced to work in rice farms from sunrise until sunset, plagued by gnats, insects and snakes. It did not matter if it was very hot and humid or cold and rainy. Robinson lived with another family in a wooden hut smaller than the umbrella of one of the White House guards. Another 35 other slaves lived on the same farm as Robinson, where they suffered from malaria, yellow fever and other diseases.
They were not even treated as humans, neither in life nor in death. They were merely possessions. The grandfather of Michelle's grandfather died before the emancipation of slaves. He left some records, but they did not tell from which African country his parents came or how. One of his sons, the father of Michelle's grandfather, sold newspapers and was keen on getting his children to read the papers before they were sold. He was intelligent and very fond of poetry. Even then, Mrs. Obama's family was concerned with the education of its children and we can see how Michelle became a university professor.
Michelle said that she is well aware of the roots of her family and the history of slavery in America. However, a door should be closed on the past because it is painful and will hopefully be forgotten. For the time being, Michelle Obama works hard and sincerely to support the black population in America. She even invites many of them to the White House to have lunch and enjoy the grandeur of the place. She wishes to compensate for their vulnerability to various agonies and underestimation. This indeed implies that she still remembers the past.
Obama does the same thing. He rewards worthy ones with sublime positions and, for the first time, he strongly urged the black community to put more efforts into learning so as to assume better positions in the future. They make their own destiny, Obama told them, and added that poverty alone is not a reason for failure. They can take him as a paragon.
In summary, all this reveals a golden opportunity for black Americans to succeed and they must not let it easily go. Still, many fear that this might drive the extreme political right crazy!