Demonstrate Excellence

When you can do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

—George Washington Carver

AMERICANS OF every race, creed, and color shed tears on January 20, 2009, as Barack Obama, a Black man, was sworn in as the forty-fourth President of the United States. Commentators and ordinary Americans proclaimed that Blacks in the United States had “overcome.” Americans living and traveling abroad noted that they were suddenly regarded more favorably. This was a new day. America changed forever.

Well, not so fast.

In the first fifty days of Obama’s presidency, what many African Americans feared would happen to the nation’s first Black president began to occur. The criticism ...

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