Today’s the day! It is a great day for America. We are a diverse people and this Presidential race is the first to embrace the embodiment of diversity. I took pride this morning when I went out to vote at 6 AM. It was with pride and a sense of history that I pulled the level for Barack Obama. I would like to say a lot of things, but as an African American, I think back at how we we denied the ability to vote for many many ,many years.
We were slaves only 145 years ago. Although Abraham Lincoln freed our ancestors with the Emancipation Proclamation, we still did not realize the promise of all the freedoms of America. Families were separated doing slavery, slaves were not allowed to learn to read or write. The African American family was totally separated and destroyed. When the slaves were finally freed, we were still second class citizens. Harassed and denied the freedom that everyone else enjoyed, even in a free country.We were looked down upon, degradated, called every name, but a child of God, yet we pressed on.
Given these odds, we still pressed on, our ancestors rallied and accepted the long odds set against them, but kept pressing for the next generation. For black people to make it in America was like being in a race where you forced to start one hundred yards behind that starting line. Those were the odds we were faced with.
The leaders that helped us paved the way for our piece of the American dream, was W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, A. Phillip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, all helped us through the age of Jim Crow, segregation in the south, voter suppression, lynching, and a host of other atrocities that in many cases were sanctioned or ignored by our government.
So this day is a special day, given our struggle, given the resolve that we had to face. But given our faith, our strong faith in God, we have seen this day. It is a day of Hope for all Americans, and that is the key for All Americans… because that is what we truly are. It is a day that we can look back on and say we can really overcome the stain of racism, we can overcome to stain of complacency in our own community, and striving as a race to be the best that you can be. It is a day that we change the outlook of African Americans, that if you buckle down and work hard that the dreams of America, really can be yours. That’s what this day means to all of us……..Americans.