Monday, November 03, 2008

On the Cusp of Change

Well, when I plopped down to start logging words tonight, it wasn’t meant to be in blog form. But I can’t help it. I guess I – like many others – feel compelled to record my thoughts for posterity on the eve of this historic presidential election.

I have that queasy churning in my stomach that I used to get before strolling the runway in a fashion show or taking the microphone for a news broadcast or hitting the stage for a dance performance.

It’s showtime, baby.

I saw Obama back in May of '07 at the Detroit Economic Club. The place was packed. And just like the rallies that would soon follow, that esteemed business audience was filled with faces of every hue that ran the generational gamut from Millennials to Boomers. That day, it was like he told folks here in Detroit that the Emperor had no clothes, words others seemed afraid to utter. And, oh, how the truth has come to pass! I admired the frankness, the confident intelligence shared with a next-door-neighbor smile.

What’s that saying about "you had me at hello?" Yeah, that’s me and Barack, except the phrase of capture was “Good Afternoon.”

Friends were surprised that I didn’t back Hilary. I can see why. My grandmother owned and operated her own hair salon in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, from the 70s until her death in 1989. She was down in the shop working when she suffered the heart attack that took her life. But what a role model for me! To see this Saved & Sanctified African American woman handling her business in that small, small-minded town.

That’s the same place my mother grew up. And when she reached high school age, she was one of a tiny group of young teens who integrated Cape Girardeau Central High School in the late 50s. I watched my mother navigate one hurdle after another as I grew up: raising four kids, working full time and attending school the whole time I was growing up.

So, I can see why people would’ve thought I’d be a Hilary fan. Barack, for me, was simply bigger picture. My oldest son is a second year college student. At 19, this is his first presidential election – and what a vote he gets to cast! In spite of the confusion surrounding do’s and don’ts for first-time voters, absentee ballots, etc., he has his new address sticker, his patience and his ID, ready to stand in line and do what he must for the America our ancestors struggled to shape.

Like so many Americans, I believe that November 4th, 2008, means a lot more than pulling a lever or punching a ballot. Healthcare, education, way of life, a global economy, broader vision, a different path are all pinned to Barack's coat tails. For me, it’s way past time to stop sitting on the fence of complacency watching better ways of being pass our country by.

My hope?
Today cusp, tomorrow change.


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