57 Inauguration

“I have a dream today.” MLK’s Dream Becomes Reality

As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we can also proudly see King’s legacy persist at the 57th Presidential Inauguration. Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech highlights the importance of changing America into an all-inclusive nation, especially when it concerns race and ethnic identity. Though we have certainly made strides toward Dr. King’s vision of a better America, we are still on our way to becoming the ethnically-accepting society he fought for.

Today, it seems we are a little closer to that goal. The U.S. Hispanic community was an integral part of the 2012 election, breaking records at the polls and providing overwhelming support to the Obama campaign in his quest for reelection. As an expression of gratitude, the Hispanic community was recognized at the inaugural ceremonies above every other voting demographic.

Sunday Eva Longoria hosted a special inaugural ball: “Latino Inaugural 2013: In Performance at the Kennedy Center.” The event featured many famous Latino performers including Chita Rivera, Mario Lopez and Marc Antony.

Our Space Sonia SotomayorToday, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic judge to administer an oath of office. She is also the first Hispanic judge to serve on a high court. Sotomayor swore in Vice President Biden, who went on to thank the Latinos for their vital campaign contributions.

Addressing the Hispanic community with gratitude, Biden said, “This is your moment. America owes you.”

To round out the inaugural events, Richard Blanco spoke as the first Hispanic inaugural poet in American history. He follows in the footsteps of notable poets like Maya Angelou and Robert Frost. Blanco’s poems feature the themes and trials of Cuban-Americans as they nest themselves and their culture into the American narrative. Through his poetic voice, Blanco often questions his place in American society. Today he has grounded himself in American history with his recitation of “One Today.” Below is an excerpt of his original poem:

Our Space 2013 Inauguration Richard BlancoWe head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.

What do you think all of these events say about the changing atmosphere in the United States? Share your opinions with us in the comments section below!

Cover Photo Source: InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr
Photo Source 1: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Source 2: Farragutful via Wikimedia Commons

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info] Kara is a Junior Executive at SJG. She earned a BA in English and a minor in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Outside the office, Kara can be found searching for hidden music talent in Chicago.[/author_info] [/author]