Forty-five years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. led the March on Washington, properly called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This march was in protest to the situation many Americans were living. America was segregated, Blacks & Whites were forced to use separate facilities (bathrooms, water fountains, restaurants, etc.), Blacks were denied jobs due to the color of their skin, and violence against Blacks was tolerated and sanctioned by local governments in certain regions of the country.
The following year (1964) after the march, the Civil Rights Act was passed which outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places and employment. The year after that (1965), the National Voting Rights Act was passed which outlawed discrimination in voting practices, ensuring Blacks the right to vote.
Tonight, the Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Obama, an African-American, gave his acceptance speech, a mere 46 years after de-segregation.
Just like those who marched on Washington, who wanted to change this country for the better, we have an opportunity to pick up where they left off, by electing Barack Obama President of the United States.
His presidency, won't cure all the ills America has suffered over the 400 odd years, since the first settlers arrived, but it will change the mindset of those who come after us. Our children will never have to wonder what it would be like with a Black President, or if they could really "grow up to become President", or say White people would never vote for a Black person. These thoughts which many of us have (or had a one time) won't exist for them. This will become the new norm.
As a 29 year old woman, I can not imagine a world where I would not be allowed to vote, but I'm sure my Grandmother can. Granting women the right to vote, changed history. I can't even fathom the idea of not having full rights. Now my children and grandchildren will never imagine a world where a Black person could not become President. This is a fundamental change, it is a social change which will effect us all, white and black.
Sometimes, I don't think I fully understand the importance of tonight, and only the future can tell as we reflect back after a decade or so, but Obama has already changed the course of our great country's history. He gave us all hope. Hope, that America is really what we believe it is. A place where everyone is created equal.