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The election of America’s first black president is on the list, too, as it left many voters making merry like Christmas, but our ancestors were jubilant and realistic about the promises of 19th century Reconstruction, too.

Now’s the time to ‘fess up sincewe know where “stands the Negro today.”

The question on this very day, the 150th anniversary of D.C. emancipation on April 16, 1962, is where will we stand tomorrow. ( offers incredible details about D.C. slaves and their owners who petitioned for compensation.)

With that history, let’s begin debate about the prospects of black America in a different context, a great debate about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.

What an honor that would be to our black ancestors and our young people, who are looking for leadership and a far brighter future.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at