La Times: A Black reporter’s road trip to the inauguration — and a search for America’s ‘soul’

By TYRONE BEASON

This is a snippet of a story that ran in the LA Times on Feb. 7. To read the full piece, go here.

WASHINGTON — By the time I watched Kamala Harris walk past the White House as the first woman and first woman of color elected vice president, I’d driven more than 600 miles from Charleston to Washington in search of what President Biden calls America’s “soul.”

Time and time again, I was forced to face the war raging in my own.

There’s a side of me that wants to believe this country will someday bestow on my fellow Black Americans the respect we yearn for. But there’s another side of me that sucks its teeth and rolls its eyes at the notion that Black people will ever receive their due in a country where armed white men who call themselves patriots can freely ransack the U.S. Capitol while some of them wave, without irony, Confederate battle flags.

America, it seems, is as conflicted and as divided as I am.

“It’s really disgusting that some question Black people’s patriotism. We have peacefully gathered, we have died for this country and yet we still don’t have the freedoms that they take for granted.”
SOUTH CAROLINA REPRESENTIVE JA MOORE

Moore’s sister Myra Thompson was one of nine Black worshipers killed by a white supremacist at Mother Emanuel AME Church in 2015. He ran for office for the first time in 2018 in part to channel his grief over her death into public service.

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