Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In L.A. Where do you go when you want to celebrate your Black President? Crenshaw!!!

Yes, Crenshaw Boulevard in Leimert Park is where Black Angelenos go to be together when something major happens--kinda like Harlem West. My student MeLisha B. (a college freshmen) wrote a blog about it, so I give her the guest blog spot tonight:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My President Is Black

"Do you know why it was cold yesterday? People said it would be a cold day in hell before a black man became president.Well, guess what guys. Bundle up." Unknown

November 4th, 2008 was the very first time I have ever voted. On the way to the church where I was summoned to vote, I was very nervous. I didn't know what to expect and just wished all would go well. People said many negative things about voting, so I began to think as I was driving to the church: "What if I had to stand and wait in line for hours? What if I accidentally marked the wrong answer on the ballot? What if it started raining?"

Well, first off, I was only in line for 45-50 minutes, blessed to not have to stand in line for very long. When I was done voting, I began to walk to my car. The voter line was all the way down the street, two blocks from the church. I was glad I came when I did. Just simply having a right to vote and a voice to be heard intrigued me to want to vote. Most of my family are immigrants (Belizean)and are unable to vote, so my cousins and I had the honor and were proud to vote not only for Obama, but for our family.

At 8:01 p.m. my father called me, yelling at the top of his lungs,"We won,we won! Obama won!" Now, I thought the results of the votes weren't going to be in until the next day and that my dad was playing. As I drove further, I realized he wasn't lying to me.

By 8:09 p.m. I'd reached Crenshaw and Slauson. People were yelling, screaming, crying, dancing, waving their flags, showing off their shirts and blowing their horns. This was no Laker parade.This is going to be history, I thought. My son will maybe one day write a book report on the first Black president of the United States of America. I had never experienced so many happy people for a presidential election. I am so proud of the results of this election.

"Rosa Parks sat so, Dr.King could talk. Dr.King walked so Obama could RUN...and Obama WON so our kids can fly." Author also unknown.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Five Hours--and that was Sunday

I was there on Sunday at the Norwalk mecca for voters. I left to get there at 8 a.m. but was surprised that I got there at 7 a.m. because of the end of daylight savings time. (Yes, Sherese, I forgot.) And after almost 5 hours, I got in my car, blasted Usher's "Yeah" down the freeway and grinned all the way home.

Of course, I voted for Obama for President. But of the six candidates on the ballot, THREE were Black...Obama, Cynthia McKinney and Alan Keyes.
Imagine that!

My son had gone the night before and stood in line 3 hours. He did that after a day of campaigning with Mark Ridley-Thomas for Supervisor, traversing the County from community to community (of every hue) and Obama campaign offices hither, thither and yon.

My five hours were some of the happiest in recent memories, meeting other voters--many African Americans--but all races were chatting it up. It is amazing what strangers tell you, but there was no lag in conversation. I used the time to grade papers but almost missed my number when they called it in the big tent. Heard it only when it was prefaced by "Last Call!"

There is a photo of Barack crying for his grandmother, which I was happy to see him be able to release all the pressure he is under. There is no telling what other death threats he and his family must be receiving. Them, to layer on top of that the loss of a grandmother. G-mas are very important in our families; moreso in Barack's as she was his rock while Mom was working. I had one of those til two years ago. Mother Marge was 96 when she passed. Her loss and burial consumed our family for a long time. My prayers are with the Obama family.

His best gift would be a win. Please do what you can. Until our election celebration tomorrow at West L.A. College's Umoja program, make it happen!