I've talked to all my siblings over the last 12 hours, and the sentiment is the same. "I never thought I would live to see this day." And we think on what our parents would have thought if they were here.
My mind goes back to the first Presidential election I was aware of. I was seven years old in 1952, when my mother couldn't vote. She had left school early in the county where she taught English to get back to Petersburg before the polls closed. The polling place for our neighborhood was the corner store where Mother had to wait in line almost an hour before they told her she couldn’t vote because she didn’t have her receipt for paying the poll tax. I remember my late brother Ronald saying, "But Mother you were going to vote for Eisenhower."
Those barriers in the voting process were lifted through the Voting Rights Act back in the 1960's. Still so many of us did not participate in the voting process because of lack of faith in a country that continued to turn her back on so many of us.
This time was different. It was not just a matter of having a black man running for president. This time we have a community organizer who recognizes the power of the grass roots organization to get everyone involved in the process. I have participated in campaigns for other candidates in past years. In the past I stuffed envelopes, made calls, made contributions, stood in the rain holding a sign at the polls. Never have I been so engaged as this time. Never have I given so much of my time and money...you would think I was tithing when I got those emails from David Plouffe. THIS TIME, I knew would be different.
The tears will be coming all day today, tears of joy, tears of remembrance of where we've come from, tears of hope for this new day. Last night I hooted and howled when each successive projected state was announced, I cried when the Obama family took the stage in Grant Park, and I shivered with joy when Barack referred to Michelle as the next First Lady of the United States of America.
I pray for our new President, for his wisdom and strength. And I pray for his protection, that Jesus will build a fence all around him, fight his battles, let no enemy rise up against him.