Wednesday, August 27, 2008

History and More

It's done. Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for president. The emotional impact snuck up on me like a stealth bomb. Maybe because of all the drama with Hillary and Ted Kennedy. Probably because I never thought it would really happen. I came home during the delegate roll call vote and it hit me what was happening. History and more than history. I started to cry and couldn't stop. Cried as each state bragged about their majestic geography, sports teams, politicians, and favorite sons and daughters. Then, New Mexico yeilded to Illinois, Mayor Daley yeilded to New York and Hillary herself asked for suspension of the rules to declare Obama the nominee by acclamtion.

I swear, it was like my life passing before my eyes. I thought of spending my childhood summers in Alabama. The blatant racism that kept us from stopping in restaurants or motels on the road. The segregation in my grandparents little Alabama town. Having my father explain why we could not go on carnival rides at the same time as white children, even though there were empty seats. I thought about being a teen in a car in Chicago with my visiting cousins from Alabama and being pelted with rocks and called names when our car broke down in a white neighborhood. I remember a student walkout in high school, to attend a rally where Dr. King spoke at Soldier Field. I thought of my mom telling me about her 90 year old aunt's stories of slavery and showing her the raised whelts on her back. I thought of my mom and how she would absolutely never miss voting, even when she was very sick. I missed my mother and know she would be so proud of Barack and Hillary. I know she would insist we all come over to watch Baracks acceptance speech with her tomorrow night.

Tonight made history and so much more than that. I could never express how much more. But, it does mean millions of Americans are capable of looking beyond skin color. At last.

Delegates overjoyed.

And overwhelmed. I know. I know.

1 comment:

Gabi Clayton said...

(((((HUGS))))) and big thank you for sharing so much and so beautifully your response to last night.