All of us or none – everything or nothing, I heard activists in Oakland chant at the beginning of this journey.
However, I haven’t found it, the great Brechtian quasi-socialist movement that unites African Americans in a quest for racial justice. Obama did not want to be the Martin Luther King of the 21st century, he did not make himself the leader of black America. There is no one leader, not even the one cause or a national organization that speaks for all African Americans anymore. For many in the younger generation, the representatives of the civil rights movement of the 60s have lost their glory, they are rather seen as part of the political establishment.
What I found was a movement that is all digital age: a lose network of local individuals, tied together by digital communication or not tied together at all, but still, in sum, pushing the country ahead. Everybody is part of “all of us”, but everybody is part of a different “all of us”. With Washington blocked, they act locally – and they succeed locally.
That’s Obama’s black America how I saw it: Driven towards new hope by the energy of disappointed hope.