None of us, on our own, can change an entire culture. We can, however, choose to move through the world differently. If enough of us make that choice, who knows where the conversation on race -- and many other issues -- might go?
The seemingly impromptu (though apparently planned at the last minute) statement by President Obama on the Trayvon Martin case last Friday may be the most important statement he has made on race relations during his presidency.
I cried when I heard about the Zimmerman verdict because I knew that it would tear the country apart on racial lines. I also knew that as a middle class black person that I was going to be called upon for my perspective by my white colleagues, friends and family.
Obama didn't speak solely because he felt obliged to make a generic observation about the anger of most blacks toward the Zimmerman verdict, or even out of remembrance of the fight he led in the Illinois state legislature. He spoke from a well-documented personal experience.