This has been a long day for me. My day started at 3:30 am when I left my house to come to the Sentinel to meet NBC News for election-day coverage. To my surprise when I opened the doors to let the news crew in there was a lone African American man, already here ready to vote. He said "I wanted to be the first person to vote today so I came here early." (Now that is commitment). Well the morning went on and by 5:30 we had a waiting room full of people fired up and ready to go (about 40 people). This went on all morning long until about 6:45 when everyone went outside and lined up so that the polls could open up and the voting could begin. By 7:00 am when the news crews left and the polls opened up we had well over 150 people happily lined up to vote for CHANGE.
I then went to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles to do a get out to vote show with KJLH on the Guy Black Show. We laughed and celebrated and rejoiced in the moment of this historic election, on this historic day, for this historic candidate. We laughed, we joked, we prayed but in the end we all shared our pride and our concern "is this really going to happen?"
All day I watched hundreds upon hundreds of people pour into our building to cast their vote for Senator Barack Obama. In fact I came to realize that Senator Barack Obama has been a unifying fixture even within our own community. Think about it. In normal election times Proposition 8 and the supervisors race would have divided our community to the point we would have never come together, but the truth is even as divided as we have been over these two issues we have ALL been collectively committed to electing our President which allowed us to happily agree to disagree on those things which have divided us.
Then finally the numbers started coming in. It started off a little nerve racking but quickly became the night of joy. It became the night when African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, White folks and all good hard working, God fearing AMERICANS demonstrated that we could get past the hate and discrimination of years past to really be the America that the constitution promised All its citizens could be.
So let me say to all and everyone of you who gave your time, your energy, your money to help make this dream possible. Let me say to all of you who went to the polls and took your ancestors with you to the polls, to all of you who dared to believe–Thank you and God Bless you. To the Lillian Mobley's, the Marybell Bakewells, the Mary Henrys, the Celeste Kings, the Walter Bremonds and the Olean Tates that gave so much of yourself and paved the way for us to see this day, I say THANK YOU, GOD BLESS YOU–we have seen a day that I never thought I would see in my life time.
And then I have to address the man himself, President Barack Obama. You have shown us a better today, and opened the doors for our children, our grandchildren and all of our family to have a better day. Thank you for challenging us to believe, thank you for pushing us to be better. Thank you for telling us we need to be better parents, we need to turn off that television and spend time with our family, Thank you for challenging the very core of our community and for showing us that when we challenge ourselves any and everything is possible.
Let's celebrate this victory but let's also work to continue our efforts. We have so much work to do in our community, but if we use the same energy and remain committed the way we have been to get Barack Obama elected there's really nothing we cannot do.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to "Talk to Danny."
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor