Not Yet, Not Yet

President Obama’s historic election in November of 2008 ushered in a new era in American social and political history, a post-racial age in which all past wrongs are null and void, and are to be forgotten and forgiven.

Now that America has elected its first black president, with large white support, the race wrongs of the past are obsolete and African Americans can finally get over more than 400 years of slavery, thousands of lynchings, more than a century of Jim Crow segregation, degradation, humiliation and other inhumane horrors, and we can all  finally “sit down together at the table of brotherhood” as Martin Luther King, Jr. once dreamed.

A black man is the Leader of the Free World. So, we’re even. Right?

Slow down America, says Ryan Paul Haygood, an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. While we’ve made great progress, we’re not quite there yet.

On Jan. 20, the one- year anniversary of Obama’s inauguration as the nation’s 44th president, Haygood presents a lecture at Penn Law School titled “Post-Racial America? Not Yet.” Haygood argues that while Obama’s election marks continued progress toward America’s highest ideals of freedom and equality, and affords all Americans great hope about the promises of the U.S. Constitution, it is a mistake to view this critical milestone as the end of the nation’s ongoing journey toward racial equality.

The event takes place from noon to 1:20 p.m. at Penn Law School. For more information, call 215-573-8151 or visit www.law.upenn.edu.

Originally published on January 7, 2010