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Black Community Opinions

Local Voices: Progress: In My Life

By Sean C. Bowers

My mother said I was kicking in her stomach as she was on her hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, when news broke that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. Walter Cronkite broke into the regular afternoon programming with a live CBS News update. When I was still a baby, she dedicated me to God’s service and his will. Over the following years, I have attempted to use my limited intelligence to stand for justice and equality, and my large size as a deterrent to oppression, bullying and the dreaded “isms.”

I have always endeavored to live out my convictions and moral high ground (so to speak) with the power of a semi-well articulated truthful (flashlight) article used to illuminate issues and focus on solutions to problems. My Quaker upbringing and college basketball career are part of what brought me to The New Journal and Guide as a wanna-be writer 18 years ago. Looking back over my life, there have been a number of times I have felt our nation and the world have made actual progress, moving forward, becoming a better place, a better species – and closer to God’s potential promise she first saw in and for, us.

I remember sitting wide-eyed on the floor, watching the first moon landing on our old Black and white TV. America envisioned a national goal and then did the unthinkable, the inconceivable. With that Moon landing, the impossible had become possible and the resulting technological “big bang” still reverberates and resonates with creativity ripples today.
Things that were previously considered as “un-do-able” or out of reach were then re-evaluated in light of the mentality shift caused by that lunar landing. Progressed world thought patterns (particularly in America) became “If we can put a man on the moon, we can do anything.”

The second time I felt the world inch forward was nearly eight years ago when our nation (built on slavery and stealing the lands from the original Native Americans) elected Barack Obama as our 44th President. That vote shattered the glass ceiling that all Blacks and minorities have lived with since non-minority whites first figured out their whole warped “3/5’s-of-a-man” formula and rationalized the ability to live with themselves, as slavers.

The election of our nation’s first Black President became like the lunar landing: a moon shot of epic proportions that shifted thought processes of countless people. The new perspective became, “Anything is possible and I can do anything” (which is how it should have always been.) The thought was now made clear, “I can even become president in spite of our flawed past, Jim Crow laws and intentional institutional racism. All minorities now point out Obama’s example to their children and grandchildren as the example of what we can do, can become, and are most capable of accomplishing. In 2008, we as a nation showed the world that we were going to give ALL an equal chance and then we back it up with real action.

President Obama rose to the occasion. He has been “the Man.” for the job. He has always maintained his cool with dignity even under pressure. He both “repped” and represented us, the world and mankind graciously, articulately and thoughtfully with a measured mastery of the English language. His public speaking has thoroughly been a quality mannerly substantive performance. His example has been more than ample; he presents a mosaic of America’s best, of our American DNA sample.

His detractors never wanted him in the first place. They feared the loss of their own perceived self-importance in their twisted self-aggrandized delusions of grandeur. They feared the loss of power and the possibility that true equality might ever even become reality. They always see America “before Barack” (B.B.), in the same way that Christians see the world before Christ: (B.C.)

So now we must ask ourselves what glass ceilings would be forever broken giving all woman worldwide the belief and confidence that they to could do and become anything in their lives, even President, the top job in the nation. If we can put a (WO)-man in the (White House,) SHE can do anything. November 8, 2016, Election Day, will be when everyone’s daughters win and we all will have witnessed progress triumph yet again. True forward movement makes everyone’s life better, even those fighting the hardest to prevent it. Even though they too have daughters and their life’s work has been to oppress the dress, we will all have begun a new era with a semi-new tenant at our most famous Whitehouse address.
Madam President!

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Sean C. Bowers is a local progressive youth development coach, author and poet, who has written for the New Journal and Guide the last eighteen years. His recent book of over 120 NJ&G articles detailing the issues is available at and he does do large scale solutions presentations.

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