As some of you know, last weekend I went campaigning in Merrillville and Gary, Indiana for the Obama campaign. The campaigning was for door-to-door campaigns within a list of homes that were either Democratic or Undecided residences. The purpose was to make sure that all residences for which we were instructed to "hit" were registered, understood this year's election process, and encourage early voting as since this election will be bananas in the polls. Voting early is extremely encouraged.
All in all, it was a pretty good turnout. Aside from the seemingly endless McCain/Palin '08 signs that were hung up on trees, planted firmly in front of lawns, and stuck in windowsills on the way to our "target areas", everything ran pretty smoothly. I even met an elderly white woman who had just recently moved to the slums of Gary, Indiana from her hometown in a rural area in Mississippi who invited me and my homegirl inside her home, attempt to get her registration taken care of via calling our Head Coordinator of the event, and chat almost endlessly about her son who lives in the area she just moved to and her deceased husband. We were about two minutes away from being offered some hot chocolate before we realized that we had an entire list of other homes to spread the word to.
It was refreshing to find such a good heart within the realm of the perceived hatred that is assumed within a lot of elder Caucasians. My heart was warmed in this woman's presence. I wish I could have remembered her address for she would surely get a Christmas card from me had I remembered it…or wrote it down.
This morning I finally decided to take care of my own responsibility I have towards this country and vote and help to put my president in the White House. In the words of my new idol, Mrs. Michelle Obama, "I have never felt so proud to be an American this day".
(How could you NOT love Mrs. Obama?)
Today as I strolled in my car to the village hall for which I am registered, I immediately noticed the extremely densely packed parking lot. Cars of every size, color, make and model were all lined within the spaces of the three very large parking lots surrounding the village hall, cars were alongside the perimeter of the parking lot, cars were even outside the village hall altogether as there was obviously no more space to park. It mattered not. There were people that came to vote. Many people.
The air, reminiscent of a polar bear's toenails, clipped the residence's of the area's noses, making them squint their eyes to see comfortably through the immense sun and the sharp winds that wrapped angrily around their bodies, almost trying to prevent what they've come to do. It's cold as the coldest place on Earth outside. But it mattered not in the least. There were people that came to vote. Many people.
When I finally get inside the village hall, I am asked to fill out an Early Voter Registration Form, take a ticket, and sit until my ticket number is called. It is called after waiting for forty minutes. While waiting, I notice something….most, if not all, of the people that filled the small space are African-American.
My heart almost does a creative African dance. I am sooo filled at what this election has brought that I almost drop a tear through my Ugly Betty's. Never ever ever have I even anticipated such a turnout on the part of my Black American sistren and brethren. It's as if we all collectively see a new path being paved for us. The only thing is….the path actually looks a bit more than promising for us. It's attainable in every sense of the word and as members of a class that's been handed below scores no matter how much effort we've collectively put into anything we've ever tried, we all—at once—can sigh a real and well-deserved sigh of relief for a job well done, because guess what? We all notice that though this path is in front of us and the path is promising, we all know that we have all contributed to the construction of the path. As a team, we've all worked together and made the path a promise, a reality, that we've never before thought we could even remotely achieve or see come to such a fantastic fruition.
Of course there were those team members that didn't work as hard but will still get to benefit from the collective labor. But who cares? As a nation of Black American peoples, it is our time to finally exhale. Our time has come to finally rise up and stand tall with our backs straight, our heads high, and a look that looks onward, not backward.
It's our time and we're satisfied.
The fight isn't over. But it feels damn good to be such an integral part to said fight, doesn't it?