106-year-old Virginia McLaurin lived her dream last week when she was led into the White House to meet the Obamas, the culmination of a lifetime of waiting and praying for equality — and dancing all the way.
"I didn't think I'd ever live to see a colored president. I am so happy. I pray for you every day of my life," McLaurin said in a video posted on YouTube in 2014. An entire social media campaign, which included a Facebook page and a White House petition, took off shortly as Internet users assisted her in her efforts to meet the president.
McLaurin, who was born in 1909, was so ecstatic as she walked into the White House on Sunday that Obama had to ask her to slow down.
The official video was released on Twitter:
President Obama asked McLaurin if she would like to say hi to Michelle, and she immediately stated waving to the first ;ady as she hurriedly walked towards her.
“She’s 106!” Obama told Michelle.
“No, you are not! Oh my goodness,” Michelle responded. “I wanna be like you when I grow up.”
“You can,” McLaurin said with a smile, as she began to dance.
The Obamas took pictures with the woman after a small groove session.
“You have just made our day,” Michelle said. “You know that? That energy.”
“Well... You made my day,” McLaurin, still dancing, replied.
It's not hard to imagine where McLaurin's energy came from. Just consider what she's lived through. America was only a scant 45 years from slavery when McLaurin was born. She saw Jim Crow laws in action and the extreme incremental changes of the Civil Rights era and the aftermath, finally leading to Obama's 2008 election victory.
The exchange between McLaurin and the Obamas is absolutely heartwarming, and it is indeed good to know that a 106-year-old’s wish was finally fulfilled.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters