Farewell Obama, We Love You

Photograph by Mark Seliger

In 2007, I was introduced to a young U.S. Senator running for President of the United States. Barack Obama stopped by Jake Gaither's auditorium on the campus of Florida A&M University during his campaign trail. I had no clue who this man was. All I knew was that he was black, intelligent and inspiring. So I sat up in the rafters by myself and watched a man move a crowd with only his words. A few weeks later I said to my grandmother, "Gramps, he's going to win!" I remember that conversation with her so clearly. She had her doubts, based on the color of his skin and what she knew about America's past. I knew that Barack was the one to excite people of all colors and fight for everyone's rights. From that day forward I rallied behind a man that I've had the pleasure of calling Mr. President.

I remember being in Tallahassee, Florida on November 4th, 2008 crying tears of joy as CNN announced, Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America. Who knew that you could love someone you've never met? There has never been a more endearing term than #blackboyjoy (coined by Chicago's Chance the Rapper) to describe my bond with the first black president of the United States. In that moment, I was proud to be an African-American male. The highest office in the country was occupied by a black man.

I want to thank you for your unwavering loyalty and commit to making the world a better place. You have faced so much opposition over the years and remained steadfast & brave. You never allowed racism & prejudice stop you from achieving equality for all people. The White House has never seen so many black and brown faces grace its hallways. Thank you for letting your blackness shine bright and encourage young children of color to aspire higher.

Mr. President thank you for giving ME and countless others hope, when we felt discouraged. Your service to the country will always be remembered, even when it wasn't always appreciated. My hope for you, is that you find peace in knowing that you've done everything possible to move the country forward. Spend some quality time with Michelle, Sasha and Malia they deserve all of your attention now.


Devonta V. White

P.S. I can't wait til you go on tour. I'll be the first one to buy your book.


Photograph by Mark Seliger