Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It Was Just A Dream


The First Family Elect

This post is mostly for me. It's a selfish post, a need to express an emotion that wells within me, an emotion that touches my core and causes tears to flow - tears of joy. None of these are pictures I took but they are who I am.


My mother and father, God rest their souls. I wish they had lived long enough to see the day that a Black man was elected to be President of the United States. My father enlisted in the army with a dream to fly, to be a part of the 332nd fighter group, The Tuskegee Airmen. He was in the army at a time when Blacks were kept separate from whites - told they weren't good enough and yet it was that Black fighter group that made history and had the most successful list of missions. His depth perception kept him from flying but he gave for this country, a country that considered him inferior.

I'll never forget the night he came home more enraged than I'd ever seen him. He'd been pulled over by the police for no reason, harrassed, called names, shoved against a fence while they frisked him - for no other reason than that he was Black. I'll never forget a cousin that was arrested and before his parents could get to him he was "found" hanged in his cell, and the fight that would ensue of a battle they could never win to prove it was not suicide.

They raised three children in a country that never let them forget they were Black but Praise God, we had a good life. They taught us well, raised us in church and together we celebrated hope when it was there and cried when it was shattered - John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I still remember standing on the street in a crowd watching Bobby Kennedy drive down the street and waving frantically. I was young, so young, but I knew what he stood for. Hope. I was young but I remember the darkness that fell when he was shot. I remember the darkness that fell when Dr. King was shot.

Both my parents tried to instill in us not to let anyone tell us we couldn't do something. They both had stories and regrets of living in a time where they were discouraged as kids from doing what they wanted, their talents hidden as they were told "you can't do that... you'll never make it... no one will ever hire you to do that".


I am the youngest of three. Even at this early age I didn't escape being called Nigger. I knew my parents hoped for the dream that their children would see less and less of what they had to endure. They watched a world change but still lived in one in which the color of our skin still mattered and was a constant reminder of being told they were inferior, weren't smart enough, were passed over. They watched a world change but I wonder if they ever thought their little girl would one day see the day when she would walk up to a voting booth and cast her vote for a Black presidential candidate. I wonder if they ever thought their little girl would see the day when color didn't matter and a man was looked at for the quality of the man and his character and be elected the President of The United States.

I'm not ashamed to say I've cried tears of joy - tears for the generation of my ancestors who could never have imagined this day; tears of joy for so many who thought it was just a dream.

I never thought this was a day that I would see in my lifetime. It's as if a subconscious hope has been pulled from the depths of my soul and come to life as a reality. To anyone who ever thinks something is just a dream, this day in history shows that dreams can come true. It was just a dream ...and now it is a reality.

Do we still have a little ways to go? Yes. But dear God, thank you for how far we've come as a country, as a people.

30 comments:

June said...

What a great post...very moving...and wonderful photos that make your message that much more personal to us reading it. A good looking couple, your folks. And you! What a cutie :-) Was wondering if your dad ever told you tales about the horrors done to the Tuskegee Airmen. By the way, I believe they do know what happened last night. It's just shared in a different realm.

kjpweb said...

Thank you! That was a great post and did move me as much as the actual reason for your post. There still is a steep hill to climb. Some people simply can't make the leap and will probably stay on the other side of the 1960's until they die.
But another set of steps has been carved into that hill last night and the climb for all will be much easier. :)
Cheers, Klaus

Woody said...

Very moving post. Hopefully, the country can now start coming together like our little blogging community has done.

Carletta said...

What a moving post!
We have come a long way in this historic election and as Klaus says maybe we still have a ways to go; but after today maybe it isn't as far as we think.

I so see you in your mother! What great photos.

2sweetnsaxy said...

June - Actually my father never talked much about the war. He talked more to my brother. I guess it was a "guy thing". I found much in my mother's cedar chest after she died and I regret that there was much I never knew and never had a chance to ask.

Klaus, Woody & Carletta - Thank you so much for your responses. I wasn't sure anyone would read or reply to this. I'm really touched by your words. :-)

Connie said...

Is is a wonderful day. I am happy Obama got elected.

Connie said...

I wanted to say that I am sorry that all that stuff happened to people. My relatives were Indian. The founding fathers just went around killing them. Then they rounded all of them up and marched them to Oklahoma, they make them walk, it was called the Trail of tears. A lot of people died walking it. Our founding fathers were not too nice to a lot of people.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Connie - Thanks for sharing that. No, our founding fathers were not too nice. They had many fears and many faults. I thank God we've come so far.

Becky and Gary said...

Very touching words! I am so happy for all mankind, and the hope that someday we will live together as one!
God Bless Senator Obama. He has a enormous job to do, but I have faith in him, and know he will do his best to unite this great country!

Jan said...

I'm so happy, too. When I read his first book, I decided he'd be president one day. Yeah, for all of us.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Becky & Gary and Jan - Thank you for the comment. I say yeah for all of us too. :-)

Lady Banana said...

Just wanted to add my comment from here in London. Everyone I've spoken to today is overjoyed Obama has won. It was the best news to wake up to this morning :)

Shellmo said...

Your warm and moving post put tears in my eyes! god bless!

marLou said...

Your post is so touching. You've said it all beautifully.

For someone who was born in the Philippines and grew up in the US, I too feel that Obama speaks for me. People have said that they felt disenfranchised for the last 8 years from the government. Well, I felt that way growing up here all my life because of how I look, my culture and the racism and indifferrence that I am still enduring to this day. I feel that now, someone will be speaking for me and others who have been overlooked all this time.

Melissa said...

Your post really moved me and i felt teary eyed reading it afterwards. I was touched. God bless!

Denise said...

Your words were extremely moving. I didn't grow up in this country and am ashamed to say I didn't know of these things. When I married an American and moved to the States, that's when I finally learned and I am still learning. Yesterday for me was part of that, to see democracy in action. It was an incredible day, to see such joy on the faces of young and old alike as the results came in. Wow, what a day!

Photo Cache said...

Amen.

The best after-election post I read today.

BNS said...

This was a wonderful post. You articulated so well what so many are feeling.

All of us in my family have been Obama fans since the first time we heard him speak at the 2004 Dem. convention. His message of unity is so very compelling, and so right for this country of ours. I am so grateful that American voters of all ages and ethnicities had the collective wisdom to see that this man is exactly the kind of leader we all need in these perilous times.

Bobbie

Mary said...

Very well written and obviously from the heart. I'm glad you have lived to see this dream come true and I hope that these artificial barriers that we erect will all fall one day. God bless you!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Lady Banana, Marlou, Shellmo, Melissa, Denise, Photo Cache, Bobbie & Mary - Thank you all as well for taking the time to read this. For someone who didn't think I would get any responses to this I am truly overwhelmed again today by everyone's warmth and shared feelings. Thank you all!
:-)

the donG said...

very beautiful post of good memories. we too here in the philippines are cheering for obama to win. now he's there!

2sweetnsaxy said...

The Dong - Thank you. There is joy all over the world, ish't there.
:-)

Jayne said...

((((((2sweet))))) What a poignant post. I am sure your mom and dad are grinning from above. :c)

Wren said...

Indeed, a great post, and a good reminder of things we'd like to forget, or pretend never happened. I, too, never thought I'd see this day but am so glad that I have. I think President-elect Obama is important not only for his groundbreaking achievement, but also because he is the right person to become president right now.

Tuesday night the weight of the fear that it would not be so, and worse yet, that it would not be so through process and problems like 2004 that would tear us further apart - that fear has lifted and I feel optimistic for the first time in a long, long time. I can't begin to imagine how this feels to people who lived through mistreatment like that your parents experienced.

gnometree said...

{hugs}

survivor said...

Your post made me cry..

I can't write anything else. I am just overcome with emotion.

Jeanne said...

What a very moving and beautiful post. I was never prouder to be a citizen of the United States than Tuesday night. The tears of joy that flowed when President-Elect Obama spoke were sweet. Yes we still do have a way to go, but we've finally reached this far.

piedmontperspective said...

This is a wonderful post and I'm not ashamed to say it brought tears to my eyes (and a smile at the end). I am old enough to remember (vividly) the riots when the schools were desegregated. Like you, I never thought I would see a change in my lifetime. Even though racism still exists, it's such a huge step for the country as a whole...and so long overdue.

Quiet Paths said...

You know, this was a most amazing testimony of your family's history and I want to thank you for taking the time to write it down for yourself and for we readers.

Tears here too. Not the first time this week. Wednesday I couldn't seem to stop tears of hope and joy. This lady is celebrating with you. Yes, we STILL have a ways to go but what a week, wasn't it?

Max-e said...

What a great post. It really pulled at my heart strings. That level of discrimination seems hard to comprehend in this day and age. But I grew up in the apartheid era in South Africa and know what it was all about. Fortunately I was able to see the error of that system and play a small part in opposing it.
The election of Barak Obama is truly a momentous occassion and the start of a new era.