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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After

I won't be long here. There are hundreds of other places to talk about this and everywhere you go people probably will. Not to mention you can't turn on the radio, the TV or the 'net without hearing about it, and this is a place you come to escape. But I can't let the day go without some small minor nod to history.

What a night.

What a morning.

What an amazing country we live in.

That's all, folks. I'm taking the day off to celebrate.

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Blogger Marie-Nicole Ryan said...

I needed a day off, too, Annie. Two speeches: one lovely and gracious in defeat, and the winner's--gracious, powerful and optimistic. It was an amazing night.

November 5, 2008 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger flip said...

I want to share an email that I received Wednesday morning from my old college buddy, Kenny Turner.

"Ok guys……forgive me for rambling but the events of last night were huge to me in so many ways. When I was at SIU, living at Wilson Hall, my mom called me to tell me that my Uncle Bud had passed away. He was 96 years old and was part of the first generation of my family to be born free. My mom’s family comes from Leflore County in Mississippi the town she grew up in is called Swift Town. You won’t find Swift Town on any maps because it is not an official town. It was the part of Greenwood where all the Blacks were made to live. Greenwood was a ‘sundown town’ and Black were not allowed in certain parts of the city after the sun went down. Anyway I remember when I was boy my Uncle Bud telling me a story of how he went to vote for the very first time. It was 1960 and he was voting for JFK. Back then in Mississippi Black people were made to pay a voting tax before they could cast their vote. The tax was $2 and it had taken my Uncle Bud almost a month to save the money. On election day he walks 20 miles to the polling place to vote only to be told that the tax had been raised to $3 dollars. So my uncle turns around and walks the 20 miles back home. In 1964 he walk the 20 miles to vote for LBJ. No voting tax this time but when he gets to the polling place they tell him he is supposed to vote in Itta Bena which another 20 miles down the road. So he turns around and heads back home. By the time 1968 rolls around Uncle Bud is completely deaf, he has a bad hip, and he needs a cane to get around. But he walks the 20 mile to vote and this time he is allowed to cast his vote for President of the United States. He then turns around an walks home like he had done when he tried to vote for JFK and LBJ. Last night while watching Barack Obama win the election I thought about my Uncle Bud and how he would have felt if had lived to see Obama speak last night. I thought about my Grandpa Jack who never voted a day in his life because when he was a young man in Arkansas Blacks risked the real possibility of harm and even death if they tried to vote. I wishing that they were all alive to see something that in their wildest dream they would have never believed possible. The first President of the United States my son Jack will remember will be Barack Obama. A man that has realized the dreams of an entire people.

Kenneth L. Turner

November 6, 2008 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger CherylS22 said...

I, too, need a rest after the bombardment of politics we experienced over the last few weeks! I'm glad it's over!

November 7, 2008 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

Flip, thanks for sharing. Beautiful letter. I heard another story about the poll tax on NPR from an elderly woman whose family picked cotton to pay for the poll tax. So sad to think we as a country could be so terribly off track. That's one of the reasons Obama's election is so incredible. I'm not so naive to think all our problems are solved, but it's good to know that we've taken a few more steps on that journey toward our better selves.

November 8, 2008 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Annie Solomon said...

I know how you feel, Meg. I'm glad it's over, too. But I also feel like something else is just beginning...

November 8, 2008 at 9:52 PM  

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