Sunday, January 25, 2009
On January 17,2009, I took a plane to Norfolk, Virginia to visit my niece and her family. The visit was very enjoyable. I had not seen them in a while so it a joyous occasion.
From there, on January 19, 2009, I set off for Washington, D.C. to bear witness to one of the most historic events in American History, the Inauguration of the first African American President, Barack Hussein Obama.
I had the privilege of attending the event, courtesy of California Congressman, Dan Lungren from whom I received a formal invitation and ticket. I visited his Washington, D.C. office on January 19th, and although he was not there, his staff members were very gracious and gave me the grand tour of the place. He has a very nice office which is filled with historical documents. Below are some photographs.
On January 20, 2009, I arose at the wee hour of 3 a.m. I got dressed and headed from my hotel in Camp Springs, Maryland which is about 20 minutes from Washington, D.C. to the Metro station which opened at 4 am. I was on the first train out of the station with my commemorative Barack Obama metro ticket. See below.
I journeyed with hundreds of other passengers down the train tracks to history. I disembarked from the train to the Federal Center Southwest Station which by the the time of our arrival was very crowded. I made my way through the crowd out of the station and on the sidewalk en route to the Capital.
The streets were already filled with a lot of people and police and other security personnel. We were directed to line up and wait for the opening of the gates to the Capital.
We waited in the cold. I am told that it was about 20 degrees at the time. However, I could not feel it. I'm not sure whether it is because of the 5 sweaters, 2 socks, 2 stockings and fur coat or the adrenaline from the anticipation of what I was about to partake in but I did not feel cold.
The time flew by fast. At 7:45, the gates opened and security personnel arrived to screen guests. We presented our tickets and were directed to the ticketed standing area.
Before we knew it, the ceremony began. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. It was simply magical. I soaked in and savored every moment of it.
The swearing in of President Barack Hussein Obama was the most pungent. As he was sworn in, my mind was flooded with thoughts and images of the struggles of African Americans, some relatives throughout time. It brought tears to my eyes and caused me to look to the heavens and thank God with all my heart and soul. I felt humbled by God's grace.
God has truly brought us from a mighty long way, as a nation of people. I will treasure that day for as long as I live.
I pray that God gives President Barack Obama the ability to lead this nation back to prosperity.
My formal invitation (Click to view):
Inside of Inauguration Program:
Thursday, January 8, 2009
For those of you who do research with the Latter Day Saints, they have a new database that you can research on the Afican slave trade.
The site's goal is to offer researchers a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history.
You can search the Voyages Database to look for particular voyages in this database of documented slaving expeditions. You can create listings, tables, charts, and maps using information from the database.
There is another database called the "Examine Estimates of the Slave Trade Slaves" which contains documented voyages in which you can use the interactive estimates page to analyze the full volume and multiple routes of the slave trade.
You can also explore the African Names Database to identify over 67,000 Africans aboard slave ships, using name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation.
I have just begun exploring the site but it looks really useful. You can search the site by going to http://www.slavevoyages.org/tast/index.faces or assess at a LDS Library.