African Americans want to sit at the table with the Obamas

February 9th, 2009 - 7:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb.9 (ANI): In a town where networking has been developed to a fine art, black Washington is clamoring for the Obamas.
According to the Washington Post, the election of the first black president is seen by many African Americans as their chance to finally sit at the table. And they want the seat right next to the Obamas.
Their invitations have been as straightforward as letters to the White House, as indirect as a carefully placed hint through a friend with connections to the first couple.
Shirley Gordon of Strands Hair Studio in Silver Spring is lobbying to do Michelle Obama’’s hair.
Members of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church are praying that President Obama will make his spiritual home with them.
D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. has invited the president to play in an upcoming tournament at a historically black golf course in his district.
“I have several clients who know her from Chicago or just from being in political circles,” Gordon, who has been doing hair for 27 years, said of the first lady.
“I”ve reached out mostly through word of mouth through my high-end clients.”
Thomas said he sent a letter to Obama on Friday asking him to play in a golf tournament June 5 to 9 at Langston Legacy Golf Course, which was chartered by Congress 70 years ago to provide blacks a place to play.
“We want to highlight the historic nature of what that golf course means, and we would love to have the president with us,” Thomas said.
Anthony Hawkins, administrator of Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Northwest Washington, said many churches in the District are offering a spiritual home for the Obamas because of the prestige it would bring.
White House staffers confirmed that residents and officials have reached out to the Obamas.
“There is an outpouring of support and notes of thanks for being here,” said Jackie Norris, Michelle Obama’’s chief of staff.
Letitia Baldrige, who served as Jackie Kennedy’’s chief of staff and social secretary, said the Obamas are “the biggest celebrities in the nation, so [local residents and officials] want to have some of that gold dust brush off on them. It’’s a tremendous social coup for them to be able to have one of the Obamas present at one of their functions.”
Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University professor who has written 16 books about African Americans and black culture, said some people seeking the Obamas” presence want to help the first family settle into their new city, not add a feather to their own cap. He compared blacks in the region reaching out to the Obamas to “watch care” offered by many black churches.
“It’’s like you may be a member of another church, but while you are in this city, we”re going to watch out for you,” he said. (ANI)

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