By: Sam Curtis
Senator Barack Obama is now President-elect Barack Obama. History has been made as Americans made their choice for change in the United States on November 4, 2008. Change has been a long time in the making for minority folks residing inside of these United States of America.
As usual, there will be changes in the White House. Starting on January 20, 2009, a new family will occupy the White House. The difference is that the family will be African American. Mrs. Michelle Obama the wife of our 44th President will be the First Lady joining a long list of first ladies including Lou Henry Hoover, the wife of 31st President, Herbert Hoover.
A gracious entertainer, Lou Henry Hoover often broke from established traditions with regards to White House social events. One which became very controversial and provoking bitter criticism in the South, was her decision in 1929 to invite Jesse DePriest, a black woman from Chicago to a White House tea for congressional wives.
Jesse DePriest was the wife of Oscar Stanton DePriest who was the first African American to serve in the U.S. Congress from (Chicago) Illinois in the 20th Century.
Wives of members of Congress from the south threatened to boycott the tea that was scheduled to be held on four different days to accommodate 435 wives. Newspapers, both North and South, said in editorials that it was inappropriate for a negro woman to be invited to such a place of honor. The boycott fell apart, and Mrs. Hoover, a Quaker got her way. Mrs. DePriest attended the final tea without incident.
On January 20, 2009 eighty years after that historic event, Michelle Obama will herself break another established tradition by becoming the first black first lady. Instead of being invited to tea at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama will host the tea.
We have come a long way baby!!!