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[IN MY LIFETIME] #BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors on Obama’s Election

Editor’s Note: EBONY.com is launching a new series for Black History Month entitled “In My Lifetime.” For the month of February, we will have notable figures tell us in their own words what it was like to experience significant events in Black History. Each person will describe their perspective on living a variety of moments — some empowering, some shocking, but all an important part of our living memory. Be sure to follow the hashtag #EBONYBHM for more of our ongoing Black History Month content.


I was 24 and attending a Live Nation Election Day party. I remember taking a step to the back of the room, looking up at the screen at Obama and his Black family and just crying. I was thinking, what is this going to mean for us? It’s like the line in that Tupac song, ‘And although it seems heaven sent, we ain’t ready to see a Black President.’ But, here I was at 24 and living through this symbolism of what felt like a historical moment.

At the inauguration party a few weeks later, we were feeling both excited and cautious. What does it mean now to have a Black president? Will White people think that racism is over? Will there no longer be a focus on issues pertaining to Black people because the feeling is we don’t need it anymore since one of the highest positions in the world is now given to a Black man?

Getting President Obama elected for me was much more about how do we in our movement continue to push for an agenda that includes #BlackLivesMatter. I thought, ok great maybe after eight years of having President Bush and him completely disregarding the American people, maybe we will finally have a President that will listen to us and our demands.”

–As told to Wendy L. Wilson          

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