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Sasha and Malia Obama: Living the audacious dreams of a father

Reading to children egg roll 2011
Reading to children egg roll 2011

History was made on so many levels when U. S. President Barack Obama won a second term. A man whose father was African and his wife Michelle’s great-great-great grandmother, Melvinia Shields was a slave. And now, first daughters Sasha age 11 and Malia age 14 will occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for four more years.

Sasha, President, and Malia  (l to r)  in Rose Garden in 2010 with President Obama
Win McNamee Getty Images

There is a very bright side to the girls growing up in the White House and also an unbelievably dark reflection. An Atlanta friend shared a vision she experienced even before election night 2012. She glimpsed the four young girls in the Birmingham church booming of 1963. Their hopes and dreams lay buried forever under rumble. The two Obama girls’ lives by contrast seem redemptive and full of promise, the friend had mused. Sasha and Malia’s very existence serve to help bring hope and inspiration to a challenged but intact nation.

A closer look shows that Sasha and Malia are descendants of women of strength, wisdom, and obviously high favor from a Power not discernible by the naked eye. For example, their paternal grandmother, Stanley Ann Dunham earned a PhD in anthropology and her mother Madelyn was vice president of a bank in Hawaii. Marian Robinson, their maternal and live-in grandmother was formerly a secretary at Spiegel Catalog and a bank. Marian undeniably helped build a solid foundation for daughter first lady Michelle, a Harvard educated lawyer.

On the dark side, ugliness and racial attacks leveled against the first family are all too reminiscence of an earlier era of racial violence and hatred. How can today’s depths of negativity be explained away to young innocents? Sasha and Malia certainly have been shielded as much as possible but they still are a part of this fractured side of politics and real life.

Other children raised in the White House have been subjected to politically motivated attacks as well but not quite as hate filled and disrespectful. Unfortunately, some whites take such observations as an indictment but it is meant as a reality check. You might not be hurling hateful epitaphs but there are far too many who are.

Sasha and Malia stepped into history along with their parents. The pride and exuberance of a nation, from Buckhead in Atlanta to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington and locations everywhere, salute these young ladies and celebrate their bright futures as dreams are realized.


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