Seen at the breakfast buffet, Embassy Suites Atlanta-Perimeter Center.
Although Oakland has a lot to offer to people of all ethnicities, I have to say that, compared to Oakland, Atlanta feels a lot like an African American utopia. The Black community in this city–or at least in the parts of the city I saw on my most recent visit–feels energetic and joyful. I was in Atlanta for our biennial family reunion, and at the hotel in which we were staying, ours was one of at least four African American families who were holding reunions during the same weekend. The presence of so many Black families celebrating their love and connection just amplified the feeling that I always get when I visit the East Coast, that there is just a great sense of prosperity and possibility throughout large segments of the African American community.
On a day like today, when so many of us are coming to terms with the reality of the George Zimmerman acquittal, it feels good to see so much shared hope and pleasure among so many Black people; and it is wonderful to be surrounded by so much love–and not just the love from my own relatives, but also the love between the members of all of the other reunioning Black families around us. It is a good reminder that, in the face of the grief and losses we all suffer in our lives, family can be a sustaining force. Like the Martin family, my own family has suffered heartbreaking and seemingly insurmountable losses … but we have come together, we have held each other close, and we have carried each other through each of our tragedies. Most importantly, our loved ones live on in our memories at each reunion and every day, when their names are spoken with reverence and gratitude.