Nov 5, 2008

A New Day

So he won it after all. I was in DC the night everything was declared, at a Blue Scholar show in fact, and first off, it was amazing to be with the Scholars when the declaration was made. But after that, it was so inspirational to see how the majority of Ethiopian and other African folks in the city were just jubilant about his election. People were dancing in the streets, ya'll. I never thought I'd see the day in the U.S.

This is the first day, so while I voted my conscience and have much to share about what that means, I'll keep other thoughts until later. For now, I think we should just take a collective deep, and tired, first breath. It is indeed as if the pallor of the last 8 years (or 16 or 40 depending on what marker you use to designate "when things were hopeful or better" if that's objectively possible when talking about American politics) has finally lifted.

People had a bit of spring in their step, really. Morning in America, and it was a new day. Maybe for one day, maybe for a brief stretch beyond that, this victory gives a little seldom-found relief to black men throughout this country. Plagued by negative images, stereotypes, and most every deck stacked against them, I will not make the audacious claim that this election is a game-changer in any way. But self-worth does not arise solely from what we have inside ourselves, and it's got to be hard to carry all that heaviness if you're conscious of it. While nothing has changed physically yet, I definitely felt optimism in people's hearts today, and just taking it at face value, more people of color, and in particular men of color, were smiling.

Not to mention the lines in front of the little corner stores that sell 2,000+ magazines and papers from around the world. Everyone wanted the papers that had cover stories. Everyone wants to keep that souvenir, that I was there, that memento that says "it's not just a dream anymore!" It's morning in America, and with this dawn came the promise, at least, of a new brighter day, if not in what actually happens, then at least in people's perception of what is possible.

But just to keep this real, here's a little perspective. There's much work still to do.


Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Thanks for the citation. I mentioned it on my page. "Keeping it real" is very healthy!

Rage said...

Thank you for your posts and insight, and for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Man, I am so jealous that you got to spend Election night with the Scholars! They came to Atlanta last night and were awesome as usual. Great post, man.

Rage said...

Yah - it was a great night. Thanks for the kindness.