On November 4, 2008 something happened; it was truly beautiful, extraordinary, wonderful and inspiring. The day was already forecast to be a historical day. When Barack Obama became victorious, the day became an enormous historical election day that will go down in history. He became the first African American Person of Color to be elected as president of the United States of America.
Barriers had been broken and millions of hearts here in this country became overjoyed as we watched and heard the newscasters say those magical words; Barack Obama has become the President-Elect of the United States of America, and the first African American to win a presidential election. I am still thrilled. It is wonderful to be alive at this time and moment in history, and to have witnessed what so many thought was impossible not too long ago.
For the African American people of color in this country this is monumental. There are many who have fought a war in this country called the Civil Rights Movement, who were beaten as if they were not human. Many of us have been treated inhumanely in one way or another, whether in the streets, the market places, in the courts, by the police, the hospitals or in school classrooms. For us this day became a moment of truth for this country. It became a moment of truth for America too; God had a plan and revealed it. Those walls which kept separating the American people finally came down. One might say it that it's akin to the walls of Jericho in Biblical times, and like the Berlin Wall in our own time.
As an AAPC, African American Person of Color who is a very emotional, I am truly grateful for the immense turnout that this historic election brought. One can see and hear the gratitude that is felt all over this country and the world; the American people came together making this result possible.
The eloquence of Barack Obama's words and the magnitude of his website are unparalleled. It is unprecedented how he used the Internet reaching out to millions of people in this country for their support. He made people like me feel as if they were really a part of his campaign, and we were. People all over the world were watching how he orchestrated this magnificent support system. A man of his character who never lost sight of what he is being called to do, who kept moving forward no matter what obstacles were thrown in his path, and who never wavered says a lot about his calm forceful way of dealing with dilemmas. Knowing when and when not to speak, and then what to say is a mark of a true calling and of genius. Knowing how to use common sense is also a key factor in his ability to communicate so well.
For me being born in the south and raised in the north in the fifties and sixties showed me a multitude of sins that plague our country. I've not only seen signs in the south that read Whites only, and others that read for Colored, but experienced them first hand as a child. These were the signs that one saw at the water fountains, bathrooms, restaurants, movie houses, and they didn't make you feel good in any way; their purpose was to keep you out, and the message was crystal clear. These things along with other stark racism in the south and in the north too, especially in my school system left a bitter taste in my mouth and was ingrained in my mind. This is just some of treatment, which doesn't include the many murders and bombings, along with school segregation that continued to cause severe pain for African American children and adults; that's only part of what was done.
Watching and being a part of this transformation brings tears to many hearts and eyes because though we are witnessing a change, what went before can never be forgotten. I am not disillusioned to think that all of the ills of my country have disappeared because this is just another step. Though enormous as this transformation is, it is a new beginning and a wonderful time in America. It will be the continuation of things to come which will be of prime importance. One might categorize what happened as America's awakening; it is monumental and the whole world knows this.
Another thing that we must keep to the front of our minds is the fact that the world is watching America; they are cheering with us and for us, but they are also keeping a watchful eye to see if President-Elect Barack Obama can live up to the promises that he made. They will also continue to watch and see how the American people continue to respond to his calls; everyone will be watching Mr. President-Elect and America.
As he has told us time and time again he needs our help, so let us not renege and just cheer; let us work with him. Let us continue to fight and show ourselves and the world that America will help President-Elect Obama with his enormous task at hand. We had our awakening; now let us continue the journey to make America the country where hope is not just a dream, but a continued reality as it is for Barack Obama.