Tomorrow is not just an American day. Tomorrow the focus on race undermines the focus of generation and the promised attitude of our youth. The problems of today are too big and too crucial not to come together.
At McColl Elementary in Detroit, Michigan, I was photographing for the New York Times African American children writing in their journals as they do every morning. That morning was part of something different though. That morning was part of the week of preparatoin for those 1-5 graders to watch someone of their skin color take the highest office this country has to offer. Those children can only be educated in the struggles of their parents who marched with Martin Luther King and their grandparents who saw Rosa Parks on the evening news. I took them into the assembly room where they held their own election for student government to take portraits of the student gov body. The difference of my photographs that day to photographs of children a year before, is that those children felt, knew, believed that they could become president.
I am nervous about tomorrow. I am nervous in a good way. I am riding a wave of amazing anticipation of being in a crowd that knows that America’s Obama days in the White House are going to be tremendous and that the country is ready. These days are not too unlike the hopes of the children at McColl Elementary, writing in their journals, knowing that the question has been posed by the teacher and it was up to them to make their thoughts and voices known and heard amongst the class.