Thursday, November 6, 2008

Afterglow


Somebody pass me a cigarette.

And I don't even smoke.

But, this feels like the kind of moment that needs smoke rings and a tiny pinpoint of orange light glowing in the dark to be appreciated.

I'm sleep-deprived and dealing with a lingering cold, but man I feel good. I feel real good.

Sated.

I started this blog in January. More than 300 posts later, I have people regularly reading what I write and being inspired by my words. I began this blog because of Barack Obama and what his candidacy would mean for racial conversations in this country. I haven't been disappointed.

I didn't canvass any neighborhoods, I didn't call any voters. I don't have any lawn signs and aside from a few shirts my wife got for my son, I don't own any Obama paraphernalia. But, I still feel like I'm a part of this.

All of us are.

When I say "us" I don't just mean black people or Obama supporters. I don't even mean just Americans. Every person on this planet who cared about this election, who understands the significance of an Obama victory is a part of this triumph. This is a moment for us all.

We have many more mountains to climb, many more rivers to cross, but we have reached a mountaintop. Big dreams can be fulfilled. None of us can deny that now.

I've seen people all over the internet and real world try to explain what this moment means to them. Some have been painfully eloquent, others have been dreadfully ignorant. I'm just happy folks have this amazing event to discuss.

There is a special feeling of charity in the black community right now. We feel closer to our fellow Americans than we have since the slaves were freed. Seriously, I think black people understand that this moment isn't just about us, it's about everybody who was willing to let go of some baggage and trust again.

I didn't wake my son up to watch Obama give his speech. He gets really cranky when you break his sleep and he had already been up pretty late watching the returns come in. I wonder if I'll regret that decision in the future?

I mentioned my son because I picked him up this morning while watching cable news and I looked into his face. He had a little chocolate on his lip from eating a cookie he had begged and pleaded to get. I looked at him different today. When I looked in his face I truly believed that his life would be better than mine.

For the past few years, I've never believed that. I thought that my son would inherit a much worse world because people were no longer willing to be honest about racism, and therefore progress had ended. I am so happy I was wrong. As my son squirmed in my arms, desperate to be put down so he could run around some more, I thought, "Yes you can."

Yes you can be the world's preeminent doctor.

Yes you can live a life of happiness and not one crushed beneath the burden of double consciousness.

Yes you can raise your children to fully invest their hearts in this country.

Yes you can be president.

See, most of the world may not change, but I think black people will. This is a defining moment in our history. We will believe more, we will work harder and we will acomplish things. Sometimes all it takes is one victory to believe things will be different. This is that victory. Our communities may still be overrun by crime, our schools may be overburdened and underfinanced, but I think black people now realize that things don't have to be that way.

We don't have to settle for less. We don't have to hoard success. We can dream HUMONGOUS dreams.

That is powerful.

He can.


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19 comments:

CoyoteFe said...

Outstanding post! I feel you. Thanks for being Here.

Hursty said...

Well Done Allenp.
Out of interest, how old are you?

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Yep! CO-SIGN!

I was talking with one of my friends about her 1 y.o. daughter, when she was born my friend said If Obama wins Rosa will never know a world with out a black POTUS

Well its official your boy's world has changed, her girl's world has changed, my world has changed,your world has changed, OUR WORLD HAS CHANGED!

GOBAMA!

-OG

blackgirlinmaine said...

Yes!!!! Like you, I am a parent and Obama's winning really allows me to feel confident that the world truly is open to my kids.

My 16 yo son has been working for the Obama campaign and his energy has been infectious, at 16 where I started to see societal barriers, he sees hope. Heck, he sees a skinny biracial guy like himself about to become POTUS. Gone are the days when our boys would just hope to be a Kobe or a Jordan, now you can be an Obama or whoever you want to be.

These are amazing times.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Great post BigMan.
While partying on the streets of Cincinnati on Tue night, I heard a woman with tears in her eyes and unbelievable emotion in her voice proclaim over and over, "Finally, we can all be together!"
Oh how I've lived for this.
Welcome to OUR New World.

Big Man said...

Hursty

I'm 28.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

i just hope the red states
dont desire to return to the history pre 1960

Darth Whitey said...

I think this column captures it very well:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/06/opinion/06collins.html?ref=opinion

The most important thing, to me, is that the world will love us again. That is so incredibly important because when things go bad, they don't rejoice and they're all too happy to help with the heavy lifting.

Also, today's kids will grow up thinking that it's no big deal we can have a black president or a woman president (thank you Mrs. Clinton! I know y'all hate her but she did good in the end don't ya think?)

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

Now, the crushing disappointment will set in that President Obama won't do a damn thing to help me buy a decent insurance plan due to my pre-existing conditions. Oh well. Better than the other guy. And at least his veep isn't a star raving mad lunatic.

Anonymous said...

White America: Boy, disrespect and disown your friend and mentor who tells the truth about our crimes and prove to us you're a good boy.

Obama: Yes master.

Big Man said...

Anon

If that's how you saw Obama's response to the Rev. Wright fiasco, then you and I watched two different events.

Because I saw Obama respond eloquently to the initial release of Wright's comments, and then distance himself from Wright after the minister's publicity tour. Obama didn't handle the situation like I would have handled it, but he in now way behaved like a Tom or slave. At least not in my opinion.

This election reminded me that there is more than one way to be an authentic black person.

sdg1844 said...

Amen Big Man. Amen and a wonderful post. I believe that Black people are being transformed in profound ways that we don't even know about yet.

We have alot of work to do in this country and I'm ready to get started.

Deacon Blue said...

I like your post-game commentary better than mine...but then again, I'm always highly critical of my own writing.

Well said, Big Man! Enjoy that imaginary smoke...

Darth Whitey said...

Wouldn't a cigar be appropriate than a cigarette for a celebration?

BTW, does anyone know why black smokers seem to favor menthol cigarettes?

Moose said...

Couldn't have said it better myself, Allenp. Great write-up. I was also an Obama supporter, and I went up to NH to hold signs (where I got many enthousiastic horn-honking, a lot of thumb-uppers, some thumb-downers, and five middle fingers. But we won NH, so who cares bout those haters). I also canvassed up there as well. Anything to get him elected. Now let's see him do his work.

Imhotep said...

Damn! Negro, You stepped up your game the last couple days, and you were already at a high level. Obviously the Obama affect is far reaching.

Darth,judging from your question: BTW, does anyone know why black smokers seem to favor menthol cigarettes?

Your pre-existing condition must be stupidity. And there is no insurance coverage for that.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

"Somebody pass me a cigarette..."

Hahahahahaha!

The CEO said...

An exceptional post. Thank you.

A.F. said...

Your post made me cry out of joy and relief and the actual reality that the good guys actually won.

I'd've passed you a cigarette. My first post in January was motivated by Obama's candidacy, and I thought that by supporting him, I was probably ensuring his defeat since my first choice of candidate has never, ever won, and I didn't think that he or she ever would. Thank you for your blog.

Darth Whitey said...

imhotep: that was uncalled for.

Raving Black Lunatic