I'm not a huge fan of barbershop reporting--the idea that the essence of the black male experience can be divined from the places where we get our hair cut by other black men. That said, my barber told me something the other day that really moved me.
We were talking about President Obama getting reelected. My barber is about my age, so his story would have taken place in the mid-1970s. This is what he said, more or less:
I was about in the first grade. Someone important came to our class, and he was trying to make some connection with us by going around the room and asking what we wanted to be when we grew up. I can still remember the classroom, what it looked like. I can remember the names of the kids who were there that day. They went around the room saying fireman or astronaut or whatever. When it got to me, I said, "I want to be president!" And the whole room laughed at me. They all laughed. Even the guy who was visiting laughed a little bit.
I'd like to talk to the people int hat class today.
Jesse Washington is a Senior Writer for ESPN's TheUndefeated.com