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National Urban League head Mark Morial recently described the state of black America today as “the best of times and the worst of times.” He’s right.

The inauguration of the first African-American president was a moment worth celebrating as an undeniable example of the progress we’ve made regarding race. Many African-Americans from communities across the county traveled to D.C. to witness the moment. Even more of us gathered around radios, television screens and computer monitors.

It was a brief respite, savored for as long as the day lasted, and then we all returned home, or turned off the television and returned to reality. For reality the day before and the day after was, and remains, an indicator of how far we are from “the Dream” so often referenced on that day. For just as much as “everything changed” for African Americans on that day, at the same time nothing changed, as one article noted days before Obama’s inauguration.

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