The day "My Dream" came true

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Divine Cox
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
February is African American Black History Month, a time set aside to highlight the achievements of African Americans. As an American I am more than proud of the contributions made by my ancestors to making this world a better place to live.

The life that I live now would not have been tolerated in the early to mid-1900s. Inter-racial relationships and being seen in public as an inter-racial couple was not acceptable.

In 2005, when I moved to South Carolina from New York, it was my senior year in high school, and I met the woman of my dreams. The first time we met, I will admit; it was kind of awkward. I was a young black man and she was a young white woman, and growing up in Queens, New York, you didn't see a lot of black and white inter-racial couples.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said in his speech," I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

I can tell you that that dream Dr. King had, did come true.

While we were dating, she asked me the most terrifying questions any man in my situation could be asked, "When do you want to go meet my parents?" When she asked me that question, my response was, "Never!"

I had seen her parents before at our high school basketball games, but had only spoken to her mother and she was very nice. I had never spoken directly to her dad, but I had seen him at the games always looking, what I considered, mean and not very friendly. I was a little skinny kid and he was a big guy, who loved his only daughter.

After months of avoiding her father, I finally gave in and went to meet him. I was nervous, but when we walked into the house, he greeted me first. And to my surprise, he was just as nice as her mother. To this day I remember the first words he said to me when we met. He said, "What took you so long to come meet us, you've only been dating for three months?"

As a young black man, I felt grateful to be welcomed as part of her family. Not only did her parents think of me as a handsome man and a great gentleman, but they immediately took the time to get to know me and my family. I'd begun to spend more time with them than I did with my own family.

After a couple years, it was time to make our relationship official.  I proposed to her in front of her family and we set the date. When I saw her and her dad coming down that I aisle, I was a nervous wreck. But when he handed her over to me at the altar, he said to me, "Thank you for caring for my baby all this time. The time has come, and I couldn't trust her with a better man than you."

We live in an amazing nation, but those strong and powerful words that Dr. King once spoke, changed all of us forever.

I appreciate the importance of February and all the milestones that my own culture achieved. I am proud to be an American and I am proud to be an African American.