I’m choking back tears as I write this because I am listening and watching President Obama’s victory speech upon winning a second term as the 44th U.S. President. I waited a few days to post because I have been reading the articles and watching the news stories following Obama’s victory and I didn’t want my story to add to that overflow of positive and negative editorials on your news feed and timeline. My post is about my experience the night of and the morning after America chose the right man for the job once again.
I woke up November 6 like it was Christmas morning and casting my ballot was like opening the gift I have been wanting all year. I was in the line by 6:15am and even by then, the line was wrapping around P.S. 249 on Caton Avenue in Brooklyn. It was crowded, chaotic and confusing inside as voters were trying to bubble in their sheet and make it to work on time. I was tired, yet excited that this day had finally come. Here in NYC we’ve dealt with Hurricane Sandy and Nor’Easter Athena (didn’t even know they were naming those…) so Election Day was a day of hope and hopeful relief, depending on whose side you were on.
The first election I voted in was 2004. I was stationed in Germany and I received my absentee ballot from New York State. I remember filling it out and packaging to drop off at the post office and when I watched the results although the candidate I voted for didn’t win, I kept thinking, “I contributed.” In 2008, I was in Florida in college. I registered as a Florida resident, knowing that I was living in a swing state and I knew my vote was needed here more than it would be in New York. Seeing Florida turn blue on the electoral map was one of the most emotional moments I have ever had attached to politics, because I felt again, “I contributed.” Then… Obama won.
This was an ugly election season. The debates were vicious and even entertaining at times. Both candidates really had a lot of supporters and I was almost scared Romney was going to win. So I sent some money to Michelle because she sent me an email asking to help out with the campaign to help them win. Who can say no to Michelle. But on November 6 it came to a close and it was in our hands.
I had to go to an election night party somewhere because I couldn’t be alone if the results turned good, or bad. So I was invited by my mentor Essence Magazine’s news editor Wendy Wilson to the publication’s watch party at Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine Restaurant on 10th Avenue. To be surrounded by progressive black, white, male and female journalists, bloggers and editors in one room was the perfect setting for the occasion.
Me and relationships editor Charreah
Former relationships editor Demetria “Belle” Lucas, Lourdes and Charreah
Essence Magazine’s EIC Constance White leading the topic of discussion at the dinner table as the results slowly began to come in.
I left to go to another party and was outside the club Crimson when the projection was made that President Obama won a second term because the bouncer wouldn’t let us in. It didn’t matter though. My eyes began to get watery-eyed. This happened…again. It was surreal. I just kept flashing back to when I made my donation and when I went to the polls that morning and thought for the third time in my life, “I contributed.”
Knowing that you did your part is all you can do and we have time to continue doing our part. We have four more years. Congrats to Mr. President, our First Lady and Sasha and Malia. We extended your stay at the White House Inn.
Another day in
Brooklyn, The United States of America!!! (sorry, feeling a lil’ patriotic)