Wednesday, November 05, 2008

He Did It, We Did It

Well, the moment I’ve been waiting for is here. Barack Obama is the first black president of the United States of America. The significance of that continues to get to me. The new first lady is the descendant of slaves. The first daughters get their hair cornrowed. The president elect has a mean jump shot and used his basketball prowress to win over his future wife.

I’ll tell my grandchildren about how I didn’t think much of the Obama name at first. I was even more turned off once I read his snoozer of a book. When folks started the buzz about him being the next president, I thought they were putting too much pressure on him. But I became fascinated with his life, his family, particularly his wife Michelle, who is a baaaad chick. I believed all the campaign promises he made, but in the end, a politician is a politician. In the beginning, I was a Hillary supporter. That didn’t last long.

I’ll tell the kiddies about how I collected each and every article that mentioned the Obamas. I’ll tell them their love story, cause I know it verbatim. I hope to take them to Chicago and tell them about the places where Barack wined and dined Michelle, until he ultimately proposed. They’ll often hear me mention the beauty of Malia and Sasha, and my enthusiasm for terrorist fist jabs.

They’ll know that I pulled myself out of bed early election day morning, only to stand in a long line that snaked outside the building. Hungry, tired and late for work, I would not leave that line until my vote was in. Once I hit ‘cast my ballot’ on the election screen, I felt my ancestors looking down on me and got a little weepy.

My election night story won’t be as exciting as that of those who were in the trenches, at various Obama offices or election parties. I was at home, watching CNN and carefully preparing for a Richard Wright presentation that I needed to do for class the very next day. But when they announced that he won – and one of my homegirls called me to confirm it – it all felt so surreal. I watched the live broadcasts from Grant Park and I saw thousands upon thousands of people laughing, crying, hugging, kissing. I saw Oprah and Steadman all in the mix, like they were regular people. Then I saw Jesse Jackson cry, and I cried too.

I’ll try to explain the significance of the 2008 election, even though there (hopefully) will be about a dozen presidents of color by the time they’re born. I’ll tell them all about the significant events that impacted our community in my lifetime. Rodney King. O.J. Simpson. Barack Obama.

But for now, I’m savoring the day. I’m at work, watching a beautiful black man become the leader of the free world. With his wife – educated and elegant, both making her the type of sistah that Ebony, Essence and CNN predict would never marry – at his side.

It is truly a new day. I am ready for the new America.


La Bianca said...

yes! MO does challenge what even our researchers say about us. although I don't share your emotion in a "telling my kids" context, I do in the "transmitting how our culture changes" context. your story will replace all the morbid ones of the past decades (9/11, deaths of great Black men and women etc.).

I just hope they got their bulletproof vests on. And that he considers hiring the NOI to be his secret secret service. maybe that's too much magical realism, but i think it could be a smart move!

How were the machines in MD? In NY they were huge and you had to move a lever and then turn a switch and then move the lever again!

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

*gasp* are you telling me you voted??

Tbyrd said...


landismom said...

I know. I was trying to explain to my daughter while I keep crying when we try to watch his victory speech on YouTube, and she doesn't really get it.

And frankly, I'm happy about that. said...


TO: White People

FROM: Barack Hussein Obama, Commander-In-Chief, Steady Mobbin', Ooooop Der It Is

RE: Payback Is a Mug

Please report to the nearest plantation within 48 hours to begin your orientation.