This picture affected me to my core. I'm not even sure I can articulate why that is, really.
Seeing this black man, who is now the President of one of the most powerful nations in the world, take the time to acknowledge and show this man respect in such an identifiably black manner makes my heart burst with pride. It reminds me of the pictures from the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics.
It brings tears to my eyes as I think about all of the generations of black people who have worked, doing hard labor and menial jobs for little or no pay. They endured centuries of inhumane treatment in order for us to finally have the opportunity to see black exceptionalism, black excellence, black intelligentsia on display for the world to see and be forced to recognize, even in the upper echelons of this white-dominated country.
For me, the aleatory moment captured in this photo symbolizes Obama's unabashed connectedness to the entire community of American people of color and shows an appreciation for the oft-ignored working class black people that made it possible for him to be where he is now. This photo gives me a really visceral feeling of pride in what our community has produced, despite centuries of marginalization, oppression, and--dare I say it--slavery.