Monday, September 1, 2008
The Promise...45 Years in the Making!
There are moments in our lives that as soon as we are in them, we know that we are a part of something big, monumental and unforgettable. All through the last week in August I caught glimpses of the Democratic National Convention. Opting not to become glued to the tube, but rather catching glimpses of speeches from Michelle, Hillary, Bill and Joe (don't celebrities operate on first names?)
Then on Thursday, August 28, 2008, one day after my birthday, I went to the newsstand in my building, and there on the cover of the Chicago Sun-Times was a larger-than-life picture of Martin Luther King and it hit me that it was the day of the infamous, "I Have A Dream," speech. The next thing that registered was how Barack's "big" speech was that night. I had been silently, but eagerly anticipating it for a week. So, here the day had come, 45 years to the day, and history was not repeating itself. And the #45 was more than the jersey Jordan returned in, no, instead something else was happening.
I didn't linger at work, instead, I hot-tailed it out of the office and came home, and there seemed to be a deep anticipation among Chicagoans all in the air. When I got home, I quickly got my evening chores/errands out of the way so I could watch THE SPEECH. I turned on C-SPAN and watched Al Gore passionately talk about the environment and Barack's plan to explore a greener society and the jobs it would create. I watched Joe Biden hit the stage and deliver another powerful speech. Then my grandmother called and we spoke on the phone as the video of Barack's life hit the screen. The story of who he was and who he has become unfolded before our eyes. Every detail of his separation from his father, being partially raised by his white grandparents, and his rise to this moment. Then all of a sudden, he strolled out onto the stage, very humbly and with that million dollar smile that we have come to know so well.
As he spoke, I listened to my grandmother thank God and state how she couldn't believe that she lived to see this moment occur. I felt a strange yet comforting sense of pride that my generation played a big part in this happening. Barack was eloquent, humble, powerful, sympathetic, aggressive and presidential. He had so much hope and faith and love in his speech. His words made you feel proud to be American again. He made you feel like YOU could change the world. Unlike so many of his predecessors, he didn't go into a love fest about himself, in fact he came out and said, "This isn't about me, this about YOU!" I sat there and listened to him speak, and a sense of overwhelming American pride came over me, along with a sense of pride about being black. I felt the tears of my ancestors, people who have passed on who spoke of this happening one day. I couldn't help but think about MLK's speech. The cameras panned out into the crowd, and you saw blacks and whites standing side by side, holding hands, hugging, clapping together, crying together and honestly healing together. It was as if the balm that this country so desperately needs to mend the broken hearts of slavery and racism was finally applied and for the first time people began to heal and move on.
I saw old, young, black, white, Hispanic, Asian and people from so many different walks of life sharing in this moment, and it meant so much to each and every one of them. I couldn't help but to shed a tear, because for a brief moment, the dream was a reality. I don't know if King and Obama would agree on all the issues, but I do believe that King would be proud of Obama. I believe that Obama is the key to the promise that each American deserves the right to have. The promise that he spoke of could only be delivered by someone like him. He put a whole new meaning to the term DESTINY. But more importantly he put a whole new meaning in the hearts of everyone who watched and began to feel a part of the American promise.
The Future First Family!
Intimate Moments...and we thought the fist bump was cool, I just love how loving the future president and first lady are with each other.
Emotions ran strong throughout the convention, but after Barack's speech, the floodgates opened. Many felt his speech was a huge part of how American can finally begin to heal from years of tension being ignored.
It was truly a historic moment in our nation's history!