I was caught off guard today by my own emotions as I signed my name beneath my voter number in a dingy classroom behind a storefront church. The women who stood outside; the women staffing the table where I signed in; the women whose backs I could see already positioned in their voting booths in front of me; the toddler in the stroller beside my voting station: all African American. And it was like suddenly the weight of Barack Obama’s candidacy hit me like a wave and tears choked my throat as I explained to Aaron what we were doing.
It hit me again tonight as I spoke with our pastor and heard the emotion in his voice: the significance of this election for him, for his parents and grandparents; and watching his toddler son play, unaware of a monumental shift taking place around him.
And watching the speech in Chicago brought tears to me eyes as well. But it wasn’t the faces of Oprah or Jesse that did it but the fact that a young black man I knew since his junior high years stood in that crowd tonight, proud, hopeful, expectant. And all of the things I told him and so many others for so many years about what they could do or be or accomplish suddenly felt a little bit more true.