Thursday, November 6, 2008
My President is Black
Nov 4th 2008
History in the making: Election 2008
My morning started with a flurry of text messages from friends and family telling me they had already voted and asking if I had voted yet. I was in a good slumber when I received the messages, but ended up getting up shortly after that. I was ready to get my vote on and be a part of history because I knew that this would be a historic day, a day that many people have suffered for, dreamt about and longed for. Barack Obama was about to become the first African American President of the United States.
Because of a 11am dentist appointment, I was up and ready to go the poll by 9am. Me, Boone and Bartlett went to polls together.
A small middle school down the street from our apartment building. On our way into the school, a group of people holding a sign to reelect someone said hello. This was enough to gain the votes of Bartlett and Boone, but I went with someone else for the local office that had mailed me a flyer about their campaign a few days prior. Jane Heinske or something like that for governer.
Lines were short in the polling location, two things i noticed, first, the old ladies that were working the lines looked like they had been trained for this day for a long time and you dare not walk down the wrong line or anything out of order. Second, I noticed and Boone were the only two black people in attendance, guess they knew who we were voting for!
When I got in my ballot booth, I took a couple extra minutes to read the directions on the ballot because I had seen so many emails about what to do and what not to do. So I wanted to make sure I didnt mess up and vote for McCain by accident. But after some careful reading I made my selections, Barack Obama for President and a few other selections. When I finished, I looked around and Bartlett was already outside and Boone was still in the booth. So Boone was a little slower than me, maybe he was reading the instructions too. Bartlett read the directions after he filled in his circles.
When we were all finished, I put my I VOTED TODAY sticker on we took a couple flicks to celebrate history in the making.
For the rest of the day I sported my sticker with tremendous pride.
Fast Forward to 8pm when some polls around the country started to close. Im at home with some friends switching between CNN election coverage and the Celtics / Rockets game. I moved down the hall to my neighbor Kofi's house for the second half of the game and the later election results. As I watched the end of the Celtics game, I got another text from my neighbor Bartlett, saying "Obama just won!" We immediately changed the channel and CNN was posting that it projected Obama had won. I complete feeling of joy overcame me once I realized that this moment had finally arrived.
My other neighbor Boone, rushed downstairs with some tequila shots for everyone in celebration. Then we went to Bartlett's house to listen to Obama's speech and enjoyed a victory cigar for the occasion.
As I listened to the speech, I thought back on how I had had the opportunity to interview Mr. Obama when he was running for Senator of Illinois in 2004, while attending Southern Illinois University and working for the local station. I recall not realizing how the big moment was when I held my microphone up to his face as we look at each other eye to eye and he answered a few of my questions regarding the senate race in Illinois. I remember spending time at one of his campaign hubs in Carbondale, while shooting stories for the station and feeling connected to him because of his color and his message. I remember listening to his speech during the democratic national convention and my pops saying "We could be looking at the first Black President of the United States, right here."
This also made me think about how special it was for people like my parents to see this moment come to fruition. Thinking about my Pops and grandparents who lived thru the civil rights movement and saw segregation in its darkest hour, this was indeed a special moment not just in black history but a moment in world history. Sometimes it hard for me to put things in proper historical perspective when they are actually happening in front of you. Because I always think of history as something that has already been done, which means most of the time it is just something to you read about and say, wow, that happended! But it didnt take much time to realize the magnitude of this occasion.
Barack Obama is President of the United States, and I am proud to be an American and I look forward to the future under his leadership.
My President is Black
BMoore Report over