“November 4, 2008″
Today I was a part of history. I made a difference and I will help to create change. As I cast my ballot and voted for Barack Obama, I thought of my parents. My mother helped pass out salt tablets during the Civil Rights movement to the marchers. My father helped protect the Freedom Riders that were traveling through the south. They told me stories of going to separate schools. Neither of them are physically here on Earth today. I cast my vote in memory of them. I know they are looking down proud of the experience they fought long and hard become a reality.
I also voted as a tribute to some of our foot soldiers that are still here. As I walked away from my voting poll, I thought about Raoul Cunningham. He’s been there, done that and is still fighting for change. I also thought about Senator Georgia Powers. She was there when Martin Luther King Jr was shot. She broke barriers decades ago. She continues to tell her story and lets us know our work is not yet complete. I even thought of the Rev. Louis Coleman. He died to open our eyes.
One of my first steps in this historic event came with typing this reflection. As I did my spell check,both Barack and Obama came up as unknown words. With pride, joy and a smile, I pressed the ‘learn’ button because Barack and Obama will both become household names for a long time to come!
I attended several election parties, but wanted to be at home to listen to Barack’s speech. His speech was excellent as expected. What brought tears to my eyes was after the speech and seeing both the Obama and Biden family come on stage. Michelle Obama – the new first lady. She is a new role model for diverse women everywhere. Then add in the Barack children. They present a wonderful, new image of genuine black family. The Cosby show first aired 24 years ago. Wow! It has taken us that long to move from the fictional successful black family, to the reality that you can be successful and raise a family.
As the extended families of both Barack and Joe stood on stage, you witnessed a rainbow of relatives all standing together on one platform praising our first African American president. Obama is not just a black president, he is a United States president!
There’s a saying that was passed along that I believe it truly fitting of the occasion:
“Rosa sat so that Martin could walk. Martin walked so Barack could run. Barack is running so that our children can fly!” He can’t do this on his own. Barack Obama is continuing in the paths of many others and will shatter many glass ceilings that many only dreamed of touching. Times are tough right now, he needs our continued support, prayer and dedication to be agents of change. Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we will!!
M.Y. November 2008