Looking Back and Stepping Forward
February marks African American History month, and I’m feeling like 2009 will be one for the history books. This year, America celebrates the inauguration of a new President—and he is a president like none before him. True, like several of his predecessors, he is Ivy League educated, intelligent, well-spoken, and inspirational, and like 100% of them, he is male. But this guy is different because he is a man of color born of multi-racial heritage, and that represents change. It’s a paradigm shift for our nation regarding what leadership looks like.
And regardless of whether you voted for President Obama, the fact that this paradigm has shifted will hopefully be celebrated as a major step forward by all Americans.
This month, our cover story features an African American lawyer who is known to many—John Crump, the executive director of the National Bar Association (NBA), the nation’s oldest bar association formed to advance the professional interests of minority lawyers. Over his thirty years at the helm of the NBA, one can only imagine the strides Crump has witnessed African American attorneys make. So it seems fitting that, in addition to reflecting with Crump on his tenure at the NBA, MCCA also solicited the views of our readers regarding the Obama candidacy and election of this historic African American. I think you’ll enjoy these companion pieces.
Also, check out the program guide to MCCA’s 8th Annual CLE Expo (pp. 33 – 37), which is scheduled for March 18 – 20, 2009, in Chicago (how appropriate!). You’ll want to hear our featured luncheon keynote speaker: Gwen Ifill, respected journalist and managing editor of PBS’ Washington Week, who will reflect on the historic election and the day’s timeliest political headlines. DB
Veta T. Richardson
From the March/April 2009 issue of Diversity & The Bar®