When I was in the fourth grade my dad asked me to create a list of all the things I wanted to be when I grew up. He asked me to give it to my teacher so he could tell me what I needed to do in school in order to acheive my dreams and goals. I recall with clarity at least three “professions” I chose. One was a lepidopterist–one who collects and studies butterflies. Another was a fireman. The third was president of the United States.

Over the past seven years I have learned much from people of African descent about how differently people from different backgrounds view our nation’s history and its present. One reason that I could imagine becoming president is that every president has looked pretty much like me. Children of African descent did not share my advantage.

As my daughter Jolie wrote to me in an e-mail just moments ago, it is an honor to now be able to tell African American children that they, honestly, can be anything they want to be.

No matter how clumsily I may express this tonight at such a late hour, this is but one reason I am proud of my daughter and the people in my country for what we have done in electing Barack Obama to be our next president.

It’s a good reason…