The Cultural Health Award has been given to individuals in the past, this is the first time this award is given to a whole family. In the African Tradition, we like to wait until the year has actually ended before a final judgment on who gets the Cultural Health Award for the year is rendered.
In the year 2008 we and the world had the historic privilege of watching the words and actions of a great and mighty family. Not just the history, words and action of Barack and Michelle but also the words and actions of their children just being children. They reminded so many Americans of their own children. I remember an expert in psychology once saying that if you really want to know the parents just watch and talk to the children. However, this award is not given to just mother, father, children, Grandmother and Grandfather but to the entire multi-ethnic extended family.
In a 2006 interview, Obama highlighted the diversity of his extended family. "Michelle will tell you that when we get together for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it's like a little mini-United Nations." he said. "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher."
From a Cultural Health prospective it is a most edifying family. Obama has nine siblings eight living. Imagine if your family had one from "every" ethnic group, cousins and all. By default some degree of Cultural Literacy and cross cultural respect would be the norm. What a remarkable modern family model for the country and the world and the reason they received the 2008 Cultural Health Family award.
If you came to read a quick blog piece and move on you are at the wrong place. This piece is intended to challenge you to think a little deeper then you may have in the past. Now it is your turn, look at the videos if you have not seen them. Even if you have seen them look at them again. Think about your family, your Cultural Literacy and cross cultural respect level. With this family example in mind, how can you and I improve and become better citizens.
Obama Speech: 'A More Perfect Union'
Few Americans can talk from both side of the country's "race" problems and make it plain.
Michelle Obama at the 2008 DNC
American family values, hopes and dreams in full view.
Soon the inorgeration speech will go into history. It will be the last thing Obama has complete control of. It is my hope that his speech and Obama's subsequent actions will bring America back to life. In the end, I think how we do will depend, in no small part, on the Culturally Healthy ACTIONS, of his family, your family and our American family.
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