Tuesday November 4th, 2008 marked the end of an amazing presidential campaign and the beginning of the first black presidency. Senator Barack Obama beat Senator John McCain by a landslide, winning 364 electoral votes, while only needing 270 to win.

This win is monumental in the history of blacks, other minorities, and the nation. People all over the world celebrated the victory Tuesday night. Forever changing the landscape of politics and America, President-elect Barack Obama gave a humbling victory speech in Chicago, Illinois at Grant Park Tuesday night. After cancelling fireworks and while standing behind bullet proof glass, he said, “This victory alone is not the change we seek- it is only the chance for us to make that change.”

For me, this election means so much on so many different levels. Our people were brought here as slaves, we struggled through the civil rights movement, and now someone with the strength and character of Barack Obama has lived out the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This changes our place in American society.

For so long we’ve used the excuse of being inherently behind because of slavery and the oppression of so many years, but Tuesday marked the end of many of the excuses, and its name is Barack Hussein Obama. Black men can no longer use the excuse that their name is Tyshawn Deon Jackson. So what! A man named Barack Hussein Obama was elected president of the United States of America. No longer can we let our situations dictate the rest of our lives. Absent fathers are no longer excuses for who we are. Barack Obama didn’t have a relationship with his father, and he was elected President of the United States of America.

For anyone who truly evaluates the importance of this historic win, there are many lessons to be learned. Barack Obama started his campaign as the “underdog”. He had no money, very few endorsements, and the middle name of a dictator. The average black person is born with no money, the support of only their mother and grandmothers, and a name that no one can pronounce. Think about it. His story is not a coincidence; it wasn’t just luck. It is hard work and determination that has made him the new leader of the free world. He believed in himself enough to persist when people told him no.

The Obama campaign and victory has reinforced the idea of planning and execution. With a team of experts in every field, Barack Obama was able to raise more money than any other political candidate in the history of American politics. He created a plan to reach the middle-class and young voters. Organizing rallies and groups all over the country, he flipped states and won by more than anyone predicted. So as we continue to marvel in the victory of President-elect Barack Obama, our people, and our country, find that one thing that makes you an “underdog” and embrace it, stick to your plan, and persevere when the odds are stacked against you.