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"Good Morning": My Thoughts After Inauguration Day 2021

"When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it."

- Amanda Gorman, from her inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb”

On January 20, 2021 we witnessed history. Upon millions of screens, eyes saw Joe Biden take oath as the 46th president of The United States of America. We saw the left hand of Kamala Harris on a Bible and her right hand raised high, solemnly vowing to serve alongside Biden as Madam Vice-President. The history is not the momentous day that every administration gets to experience as they embark on the next four years of a weighted journey ahead. The history is not the bold and truth tugging words spoken by the youngest poet laureate that left the nation in awe. The history is not the nearly 200,000 flags graced upon the National Mall in place of thousands of people who could not gather like inaugurations past. The history is not the swearing in of the first woman, first Black, and first South Asian-American Vice President of The United States. The history is not the countless voters, activists, catalysts it took to get to where we are today. The history is not in any one of this, but in all of this. History is in me and you. What history will you make today?

This is the question left in my heart after watching the inauguration on that hopeful January 20, 2021. This question was posed for reflection. What am I doing today, what will I do tomorrow, and beyond to be part of furthering this change. This does not have to be complex. The complexities are actually in what we should be doing each day: showing love, being kind, owning our faults and our wins, lending a hand to those in need. This is doing our part. Doing our part manifests what we saw on this day - when we make collective efforts to work towards something bigger than us, something better than us, something to tell the grandkids. What could be manifested through me, through you, if we decided to show up, fully, completely, wholly?

This day marked a new beginning for so many young black girls and boys, the inner ones too, that representation truly does matter, more than we fully knew. We knew when the tears of our ancestors fell down our face as we watched a mirror of ourselves, the could be, swear into office. Now, it actually could be. We knew then that this moment was for our past, present, and future. So now we look ahead, marching on, fighting on, pressing on towards the mark. When we feel it is the end, this is just the breaking of day. This day awakened a new fire. As we step into a new dawn, a new day, let us hold tight to the same flame that kept us this long. Don’t let it burn out, for there is still work to do.

Let this day commemorate all that can be accomplished when we pick up what is inside of us, unashamedly, and walk in it boldly. When we take strides to the person we are destined to be. When we own all that is within, courageously. This is that “good trouble” John Lewis spoke of, this is that “I have a Dream” Martin preached, this is that ‘Yes We Can’ of Obama, this is the journey, this is the ambition, this is the toil, this is the victory, this is that still small voice between you and The Creator. This is the beauty of saying yes. As Madame Vice President said, “Dream with ambition, lead with conviction and see yourselves in a way that others may not simply because they’ve never seen it before.”

So now with our hearts glad, our cups full, let us move forward in the fight for freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. As we turn the page to a new era, may we cling to a hope in the rock, that firm foundation, in God we trust, and say “Good morning.”


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