Through the years racial divide has separated our country - a country that I love deeply.
I often have said that we have come many miles, as far as race relations go, but that we have many miles yet to go. It's true. We do.
Those of us who strongly believe in racial equality were made to feel proud on Monday night when Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama, the Democractic presidential nominee, addressed a large crowd at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Mrs. Obama brought down the house, as they say.
She was so real when she spoke. She didn't pretend to come across as someone she is not. She spoke as a sister, a mother and a wife. She captivated many of us as Americans, because of her sincerity.
Amid the thousands she addressed in the Pepsi Center, she reached several million more people via television and radio. I was one of those who listened by the latter, while working late at the newspaper office - my weekly ritual on Monday nights.
I was deeply touched by what she said - not because she is the first African-American to deliver such a speech before her husband's acceptance speech tonight (Thursday), but because she is as much committed to her husband's cause as he is himself.
As she spoke, I listened intently - at times cold chills running across my body as I recalled some of the Civil Rights days and some of the stories I've covered over the years.
I thought, too, about the speech that Dr. Martin Luther King made 45 years ago this week - the "I have a Dream" speech. And I'm certain that if there is such a thing as someone looking down from Heaven and rejoicing, it's Dr. King, for sure.
Just a few years ago, no one would have given an African-American a thought of ever becoming the president of the United States - the most powerful nation in the world. Today, such a thing is possible, because the mindset of millions of Americans has changed. No longer do we have as many people with such prejudice in their hearts. Millions now feel comfortable with the real possibility that Sen. Obama might actually become the next president of the United States.
Wow, this country and its people really have come a long way and I thank God!
Mrs. Obama said it's time to stop doubting and time to start dreaming. She believes, like many Americans, including myself, that it's time for Change - which has been and continues to be Sen. Obama's campaign slogan. It makes sense.
I applaud his efforts and highly respect Sen. Obama. For I believe he sincerely cares and loves this country and can lead us into the future. Now that he has chosen longtime Sen. Joseph Biden as his presidential running mate, it just makes the Democratic ticket that much stronger.