As I got older, I began to see the manifestation of her prophecy, as I has friends from every corner of the globe, like Obama. I was always accepted easily but often mistaken for many different ethnicities and welcomed in the homes of my international friends because there was always something familiar about my face to them -- something that reminded them of themselves, something from "home." I was often called "the international face."
When it was time for me to go to college, I too, like Obama, paid my own way -- and had to pave my own way. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was poor and had to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I worked my way through New York University while working a full time time job as a medical technician in one of the world's most famous and reknown New York research hospitals, with some of the most presigious and influential medical minds, hoping to join their ranks as a physician. I had high hopes to become a physician, but a long, hard, lonely uphill climb to get there, like Obama in his journey to become a lawyer.
I did well when no one thought I would. I was a 4.0 student who got accepted to Columbia University also, like Obama, solely on my own merit after being told 10 years prior that, "I wasn't even NYU material."
I, like Obama, looked to define myself through those tough years. I looked to see where that silver lining my mother spoke of was, when discrimination would take a back seat and I could boldly take my place as a proud American who was no longer seen and judged by my color. Sadly, at that time, I still couldn't find it -- until now!
I was never raised with strict religious views, but my mother always raised me to know who Christ was and that he represented unconditional love. But as I entered into my life, I too, looked for this unconditional love from others in the world and was sadly disappointed most times. But, when my mother took ill and couldn't care for me for a short time I finally found that unconditional love in the most unsuspecting place.
I too, like Obama, was raised for a short time by someone other than my mother. That person who stepped in for me was a "closeted" homosexual man, who was not a blood relative and who died in 1993 of AIDS, but who saw a woman who was alone in a big city and didn't have any family and needed a helping hand with her two small bi-racial children.
His act of unconditional love for me to step in as my surrogate father when I was only 4 years old and teach me critical life lessons was a turning point in my life, because he didn't have any obligation to do this for me or my mother. This was my first early exposure and living example of true Christian compassion, unconditional love, understanding, and capacity to look past color, creed, blood relation, and religion in order to love and care for someone who needed it. This man was also an African American.
This man embodied the same strange contradictions as Rev. Jeremiah Wright. He introduced and showed unadulaterated Christian love, stepped in as a surrogate father, spiritual guide and teacher to someone who wasn't blood related to him, and yet harbored a hated and demonized secret deep within himself (much like the words now categorically spoken and representative of Rev. Wright's deep feelings about America -- which were hidden away from a wider American public tucked away in the black church until now.)