Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Day After A Miracle

Wednesday, November 5, 2008: I woke up around 7:30am and the first thing I did was grab the remote on my nightstand and turn on the television. There he was... smiling with that photogenic smile and standing next to his wife, Michelle, with their two daughters in between them. He gave his speech to a throng of people from seemingly all walks of life and all different races. It wasn't a dream... it was true. He really was the President of the United States of America. I didn't just dream this... I really did witness a miracle the night before.

Barack Obama, a man who is only three years younger than I am... a guy I might have played with or might have sat in a class with. A guy of my generation and age bracket who was the new President of these United States. He is also the first African-American President of the United States. I liked the way this sounds and I savored the moment.

I went to my computer, brought up my blog, and read all of the touching replies to my last two posts. I then went around the blogosphere, commenting and reading everybody's reactions to what just happened. History. I flipped through the channels... CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, etc. and listened to mostly glowing reviews of the new president and watched scenes of people partying and jumping for joy. These scenes were played out all over the country, of course, but also in places like Kenya, London, Ireland, and Japan... this was unbelievable and I kept hearing people say, "I never thought I'd see this day."

I never thought that I would see this day either. I thought that the first black president would come from my grandson's generation. I had even written off my 27 year old daughter's generation... still too many racists around, I reasoned. I figured that by the time my grandson grew up, most of the hardline racists would be dead and on the wane. Well guess what? That time is now. The people of this country just proved it to me. Those crowds of Whites, Latinos, Blacks, Asians, and Native Americans proved to me that a lot of those old tired racist ideals are on the wane, even now. (The rest of the crazys can go crawl back into their holes now.)

I'm only sorry that my grandparents and both of my parents are no longer living to see this day. There was no way my grandfather, who had to leave the south immediately after he commited the unforgivable sin of having an altercation with a white man in 1917, could conceive of a moment like this. His reality was one of a south where Jim Crow was king and lynching was a national past time. Where southern journalists didn't just say the "n" word... they wrote nigger in their newspapers whenever they felt like it.

My mother, father, and their siblings inherited this same intolerant and racist America... yet, lived to see the Civil Rights movement, the abolishment of segregation, and the establishment of constitutional protection of our basic human rights. My parents lived to see the election of black mayors, senators, congressmen, and governors. They didn't, however, live to see this... a man, who could easily have been one of their children, become the President of the United States.

I know that they died knowing that I would live in a better country than the one they were born into but, WOW... they couldn't have conceived this moment. I hope that wherever they are, they are two stepping on the clouds in celebration, because baby, I'm doin' a two step right now!

16 comments: said...

Hey Keith,

I had a different reaction to the Obama tears, no jigging....just watched with joy and examination.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...


Man, I just watched Andrew Yong and some young Morehouse students talk about the President-elect! Man feels good to use that term.

Andrew Young said when he was young he organized a voter drive and the Klan showed up, so he at one point didn't even think he would see blacks have the right to VOTE in his lifetime.

Its amazing how life takes us.

I didn't cry until I talked to my mother, for I knew to her THIS was special. She grew up going to segregated elementary school and was a part of integrating southern schools in a small rural town in Texas. One can only imagine the horrors she saw. Anyway great post!


Shorty said...

It is so moving that this day has finally come. Long overdue. As always...beautiful writing, Keith!

Anonymous said...

I'm still emotional. Everytime I think about the Obama family living in the White House.

SLC said...

When my second oldest son is happy about anything or nothing he'll break out in a short silly giggle that brings a smile to my face. Yesterday I was walking the hall and just started to laugh, then I passed a lady in an Obama t-shirt and laughed again. This went on all day. Just happy and laughing. Any other day someone would have had me committed, but on November 5th I had plenty of happy laughing company.


Arlene said...

Oh Keith I too thought the election of an African American to the presidency would be in our grandchildren's generation: Chris, Olivia, Elijah, Miles, Jackson,the Jadens, Janiah, Lailah, Nailah, Samaya, TJ and the new baby would have the presidency of the US on their to-do list.
I've been the cynic who thought that white America benefits too greatly from keeping us out of responsible positions. But this elections has shown that the racists in America just work with me. We've got our own group of undercover KKKers. The rest of America could step in the voting booth and cast a ballot for a person, not a skin color. People voted with their heads and their hearts, not just a desire to stay on top of someone else. At my school/office, the disappointment with the Obama win was palpable. You could taste it in the air on Wednesday morning. You could see it on the white faces of our director, associate directors, and some of the teachers. They were distressed that McCain didn't win. They say they are afraid that we'll no longer be "safe" because a terrorist strike is imminent with "an untested" president. (I know Barack won't sit for 7minutes reading a children's story if we are attacked again!) Well I'll continue to pray for them and the rest of us as we embark on the new face of America. Yes we can now say that we are a country that judges based on the content of charater, that all are created equal, all endowed with inalieable rights, and YES all God's children.

Pocahontaz said...

Hey Mr already know how I was cus you came to check me out that night....Im still in total awe

Toni said...

It was a miracle wasn't it keith?

Strongblkwmn said...

I feel like i'm going to be in a daze for four, maybe eight years. I'm still on the verge of tears. It's just so amazing.

Politicqal Sean said...

Now the real work begins.

Sunflower said...

As usual, very good post Keith..I love how you personalize your political thoughts..It makes them more interesting.

Angie B. said...

It was no dream Keith, We got a Black President and I'm two steppin wit'cha boy.lolololol.

James Perkins said...

I woke up wondering if it was real too brother.

Simon Bastion said...

It's Real Keith, It's a new day in America.

Lisa said...

I still can't believe it!

crys said...

keith man
i BE* liking how you BE* writing down what you really feel. it's so real.......i appreciate it.

*i'm aware :-)

yeah i was saying - this is a new day for America. i am proud to be an American and i believe OUR president is a good man. and i feel like the ones who really resisted this --from deep down -- they should take note of this and BE AWARE.....because we can all move forward with THEM clearly identified.


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