"Oh, thank God!" These were the first words that escaped this morning when the radio announced that Barack Obama had won the 2008 US Presidential Election.
"What? What is it?" the girls asked, pausing their spoons mid-bite.
"Sshh," I said, straining to hear more.
He'd won. The American people had decisively elected a person of colour to the White House. "He won!"
"What, Mommy? Who won?"
I turned off the radio and sat down at the table between them. "A long time ago people with dark skin were stolen from Africa and brought to America where they were forced to be slaves. Slaves are people that are bought and sold as like animals. The people who owned them made them do hard work and often treated them very meanly. A man named Abraham Lincoln put an end to slavery in America, but people with dark skin continued to be treated poorly. White people wouldn't let them use the same bathroom or go to the same schools. Slowly things have changed, but until today there has never been a black president of the United States. Now there is--his name is Barack Obama."
"Oh," said Emma, putting down her spoon, "Can I have some more cereal?"