[The following poem, published here with permission, was written by Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Cayman Islands. Pastor Thabiti is the author of What is a Healthy Church Member?, The Decline of African-American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity, and The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Preachers. He also blogs regularly at Pure Church.]
January 21, 2009
Woke up this morning
and the leader of the free world
was a black man.
Woke up this morning,
got myself dressed,
and marveled at what's happened in this land.
Brushed my teeth in the mirror,
smiled at a face made silly with tooth paste.
No more black face comedy,
there's a black man in the White House,
and so much of the world is subject to his tastes.
What will it mean,
to now be a black man in the free world?
Will anything change,
will everything change,
a million ideas in my mind all in a swirl.
I don't even write poetry.
But I woke up this morning
and a black man was the leader of the free world.
Prose won't do it for me,
describe this ended longing.
Can you believe an African-American leads the free world,
with a beautiful brown wife and two little girls?
My country tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty,
land where my fathers died,
land where black mothers cried,
land where we were so long denied,
on every mountainside,
Barack Hussein Obama,
son of a black man and a white mama,
now leads the free world.
Heaven knows the plot twists of this drama.
God help us, please help us.
Protect every unborn boy and girl.
Can't wink at some things,
even as the joy is irrepressible.
The confluence of emotions are inexpressible.
Gil Scott Heron had it wrong:
The revolution has been televised, has been televised, has been televised.
And a black man is the leader of the free world!
I never believed my mama,
when she said I could be anything, even president.
But now the White House has a new resident,
Barack Hussein Obama.
Goes to show what I know.
On a cold January day, my mama was proved a prophet.
In God's economy, nothing could stop it.
And this morning, a black man is the leader of the free world.