Wednesday, November 5, 2008
We have a black president....and i'm alive!
The title of this post is what I said to my sister last night after Barack Obama was elected. This is something I never thought I would live to see. Since I cast my vote yesterday, I have been feeling emotions that I didn't know existed.
When I walked into the voting booth around 6:20 yesterday morning, I felt like I was casting a vote for my father, who was a bit on the militant side. He would have been over the moon. I took his spirit into the voting booth with me. I thought of my grandparents, especially my grandfather who could barely read but was one of the most successful businessmen in his city. Those men meant a lot to me and this election would have meant a lot to them. I know they both have unremovable smiles on their faces just like I do.
I was watching CNN and, out of nowhere, they projected Obama to be the winner. I thought I was seeing things. It all happened so fast. About ten seconds later, my son opened the window and people were celebrating in the street. It was like New Year's Eve. I tried to call family members and friends, but the circuits were jammed. It was a crazy, wonderful moment.
The tears fell, my body shook, I did a dance, said a prayer, praised the Lord, smiled, laughed, paced; I didn't know what to do with myself. I was a ball of energy. It's a feeling I will always remember, that undeniable sense of pride that made black people take to the street and celebrate. The sense of purpose that made a young man I saw being interviewed on the local news turn his hat around before he spoke to the reporter.
I don't know what time I went to bed, but I do know that I had one of the most peaceful sleeps i've had in a long time. I didn't even dream; I guess my dream had already come true. I woke up with a big smile on my face.
Tears fall as I think of all this man had to endure. I respect him to no end because of the never waivering dignity he showed in the face of undignified attacks. I look at Barack Obama and I see his heart. I feel him. There's no doubt in my mind that he cares. I listen to him speak and I see Dr. King in the shadows smiling. Maybe he can rest just a little bit easier now. The foundation he laid is finally taking shape. He gave his life so that we could, possibly, come to this moment one day and here we are.
Seeing that beautiful, black family walk out together, hand in hand is something I will never forget. The image of the first family i've thought of for years was before me and it felt like a dream. Years ago I would have thought it was a fairy tale. Once upon a time, on a cold winter day, a black man had the audacity of hope and decided to run for President of the United States...
Our next President did something most people are not able to do. He united Americans and inspired them to work together toward one common goal. As he spoke, I looked out into the crowd and it was so wonderful to see all nationalities rejoicing. Yes, Barack Obama is a black man, but he is also every man. He inspires all people, and not only those who live in America and that is such a beautiful thing.
Even though we know change takes time, we can all hold our heads up a little bit higher. Our children, and our children's children, have an example of what we can do. We are a strong people. As we were leaving for work this morning, my neighbor told me that Barack Obama is not our savior. I told him I knew that, but he is a symbol. Like Chris Rock said in his last stand up, we no longer have to give our children the you can be anything you want to be speech. All they have to do is look at the family residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and they'll know.