Greetings!!!! I don’t want you all to get too aroused at the expected political commentary to come in this blog, because I am far from a connoisseur of Politics. I just wanted to talk about the most important program that has graced the boob tube in recent history, The Democratic National Convention.  I was watching Senator Obama’s running mate for the 08 Election, Senator Joe Biden’s speech, and after he was finished, my Grandmother turned to me and in the ‘on the edge of tears voice’ uttered, “I am so grateful that I’m still alive to see this happen.”  Although I hate to hear the elderly folks in my life speak of their pending demise, these words touched me in a different way. It made me realize the magnitude of this election for those who never even imagined the possibility of such an event.  

My grandmother grew up in a “separate but equal” south, and was the youngest child to an illiterate, widowed mother. She would hear her mother crying herself to sleep each night because all of her sons were in the Military, serving a country that barely cared for them. What added to her heartache, and brought great irony to her life, was the fact that the allotment checks the government sent to her for her sons service, afforded her the much needed opportunity to support her family.

My father, raised in New Jersey, expressed the same sentiments as to the perceived unlikeliness of this monumental event in our history. He recollected anecdotes as to what lead his mind to believe that something like this would never happen and a few stuck in my mind. He would visit the south each summer and stay with my aforementioned Great-Grandmother, and once, he joined her on trip to the local store. After she gathered the items she desired to purchase, she removed a handkerchief containing money from her pocket, and placed it on the counter, for the cashier to take what he pleased and return to her what he saw fit, if anything. My father witnessed this, and being educated and able to count, he snatched it back and gave the store owner the proper amount. Another story went like this, my dad, again while in the south, went to a tobacco market with my grandfather and trailed off by himself to get a little something to eat and drink. Once he arrived at the counter, he was told to “go around the back”, to the “Colored” area. My father didn’t realize what he had experienced until he returned to school in the fall and was going through a lesson on racism. As recent as the 70’s, another trip below the Mason Dixon line brought my dad upon a sign that read, “POSITIVELY NO BLACKS!!! WHITES ONLY” as he almost entered a blatantly racist town. 

Be it the lack of education a vast majority of our ancestors possessed, the overt racism they suffered for centuries, or the progress America has made since the ending of slavery, an innumerable amount of African Americans never saw this day coming. To witness tears run down the cheeks of my grandmother, someone who has experienced outright racism, something the youth of today know ABSOLUTELY nothing of, and undoubtedly take for granted, gave me a greater sense of just how grand a black presidential nominee, not to mention a Black President is.  Or in the case of my Great-Grandmother, Grandmother and Father, just the thought of such is a awesome achievement for blacks that will indefinitely be etched into the minds and lives of ALL BLACK AMERICANS……..

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Comments
  1. […] I lived to see this.” This same comment, when spoken during the DNC, inspired a post by me, Barack and Being Black. She along with a countless amount of African Americans never thought his day would come. For my […]

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