Wednesday, November 5, 2008

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It's early Wednesday morning - 12:55 am to be exact. Just under 2 hours ago, Barack Obama was elected our 44th President of the United States of America. I started writing this blog over the weekend in anticipation of this victory thinking I'd know just what to say when Barack Obama was elected President. I was going to use words like "proud" and "history" and try to sound really eloquent.

Nothing I wrote over the weekend even compares to how I feel right now. The magnitude of this moment can't be measured in words. As I type, my fingers are trembling, tears are streaming down my face. Proud doesn't even begin to describe the emotion I'm feeling right now. I feel blessed. I feel like my heart is bursting in my chest. My spirit is overflowing. My soul is beaming!

Today, I can't help but think of my great-grandparents, my grandparents, and those who thought this day would never come. Those who lived, fought and died not able to rejoice in the enormity of this moment. I can hear my Mommom now - "Hallelujah!"

I feel privileged to live in this moment - to witness our shared journey. This isn't just a journey shared by African Americans. It's a journey shared by all. We can draw from this victory the confirmations through the New Testament of the Bible, the Torah, the holy Koran, the Papyrus of Ani, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Buddha, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, from Nelson Mandela to Maya Angelou, from prophets, to preachers to songwriters and poets - through the chorus of our collective voices we too will hear what the enlightened in all cultures and religions throughout the ages have understood. Beneath all the superficial differences of language, culture, race, sex and religious expression - we are ONE under God.

I've been fortunate enough to come to this moment on the strength of my ancestors - through the holocaust of the Middle Passage, the brutality of slavery, the Civil Rights Movement to this yet another defining moment in history. I feel like my life has been transformed. It's a changing of seasons. There's a new rhythm to my existence, a new depth to my soul.

Let's make use of this renewed strength and power. Our new President will need it. There are many challenges ahead. A rapidly changing environment that, if we don't do something NOW, will send us the way of the dinosaurs. A struggling economy where industries are drying up and jobs are disappearing and families are coming apart under the stress. A country unable to see past personal greed to the value of an equitable distribution of resources, a nation slowly strangling itself. Some still unable to get past racism, sexism and other "isms" - the world watching us to see if we tear each other apart. Challenges in delivering affordable health care for everyone, useful and affordable education, the lack of hope, the proliferation of violence, the need to accept each other despite our different colors, cultures, religions, beliefs, class and sexual orientation. The frightening number of young Africans and African Americans suffering and dying from AIDS just waiting to be claimed and cared for.

In EVERY instance, those challenges belong not just to President Barack Obama, but to each of us as well. It comes down to us and how we respond to the call to love that each of these crises represents. These challenges seem overwhelming and it IS a lot to achieve. I know we all have our own personal challenges to deal with. But ALL of those challenges are personal. Whatever affects ANY of us ultimately affects ALL of us. We are connected. We are one.

The country got off to a great start in addressing these challenges by electing Barack Obama. We will help him get us there. It is said that "There is no end to what a living world will demand of you." Now that we've elected him, let's work with him. Let's uplift ourselves and our community. Let's stand behind him. And now, more than ever, let us pray for him and his family.

I hope you all will join in celebrating with me on January 20th, 2009. I plan to be there when he lays his hand on the bible to take his oath and be sworn in. As his hand lay on the bible, I hope to be hand in hand holding tight with all of you. On that cold January day, the sun will be shining always. If it rains, the rain will be baptismal. A snowy or cloudy day will be soft and hazy, not blue or lonely. Problems will only be challenges. Delays will be lessons in patience. I won't be tired, simply resting and taking my time. On Inauguration Day, there will be no problems, no delays, no bad weather and no sadness - only lessons, and patience, and sunshine and joy. There will be growth and change and movement. There will be History. Glorious History! See you there!

Love you!




. said...

BEAUTIFUL! Brooke - I have no words…seems like every time I open my mouth to talk, I just break down crying. Dre can tell you…
I will definitely be holding your hand on January 20TH 09.

P.S. Hopefully we’ll see all of you tonight for celebratory drinks @ Maroons.
244 West 16th Street bet. 7th & 8th Avenues
7pm but no worries if you can’t make it at 7…we will be there all night…SO COME...WHENEVER...JUST COME!!!

Warning: I might start crying on you. I’m an emotional basket case right now.

Dre Lew said...

Wow…Brooke you have broken it down!!! Truly our moment ~ not just that someone we supported won, but this is history. Yes, like you I thought of my great grandparent who couldn’t even think of the day of “Our Black President” Our time to stand up with President Obama ~ and for him!! My voice is hoarse because I haven’t stopped showing the love that I have for what so many have worked, planned, die and suffered to obtain. I have had at length conversations with strangers…shook so many hands…to realize the gravity of what has occurred. Making History of the call to make a difference. To vote and support the dream of President Obama. And now it’s to all go to work ~ we all have a share of the load to make a change in our country. How we live, spend, build, educate and protect our planet. Nothing will be easy, but I feel that the time has come ~ I’m ready to do what needs to be done. To have a leader that put forth the ideas that will move and change this country and the world. We all recognize that he has some tremendous task ahead.

Proud to say that the Preamble of the Constitution has been applied to it’s fullest extent. To hear Martin say “Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!” …the day before he died!!

Wow, no, I don’t mind some hard work ahead! I’m ready ~ Ball Up…Man Up…Ding Ding ~ this our moment and it’s in sessions!
Peace and Love


Yeah Amanda ~ you didn't need to talk, the emotions spoke volumes and I filled the rest!!! Much Luv for Ya!!!

Anonymous said...

I can not stop crying every time I think about what this country accomplished last night. Every time I see his picture & hear his voice I get choked up. I am so eternally grateful that I got to live through this experience. This is a win not only for African Americans BUT for all Americans. Because looking at his crowd yesterday he united all of us!

Congratulations Barack Obama My New President! And may god bless you & your family!

Brooke said...

I don't think there are any words strong enough to describe the feeling I have today. It hasn't diminished from the moment they announced him as President. I'll cry at a moments notice...just from getting knowing looks on the train, on the street, at work. Amanda and I cried on the phone this morning as I drove to work. It's an amazing feeling. It's not just a historical moment or a political one, it's a spiritual one. Truly a blessing.

Peggy said...

I was watching a little bit of Oprah last night and she said no one should be alone to night...I looked around and I was alone. (My Boo is working on a project) But the minute the announcement came that Barack Obama was our 44th president, he turned the key and was home. He looked at me shaking, with tears rolling down my cheeks and snot running down my nose and just held me, we held each other and just cried what seemed like forever.

I'm on such an incredible high...I'm either smiling really hard or teary eyed and ready to ball out.

I've been trying since last night to describe what I'm feeling and I just can' least not in one or even a few words...

Brookey Baby, you eloquently said everything I've been thinking and feeling...thank you!!!!!!!!!

See y'all tonight!


Brooke said...

Isn't it such a great feeling? I HAD to write this last night while I was still in the moment. I thought to myself "let me do it now, because I want it to be genuine and new." But guess what? I STILL feel what I felt last night! I feel it even stronger!

One thing I want to share with you all that I forgot to mention was my 4 year old nephew Kyce sitting on my lap last night, struggling to stay up to watch Barack Obama. He kept asking "did he win yet?" My sister said to him, "Kyce, do you want to be President one day?" He nodded his head yes and then said "maybe Barack Obama will vote for ME!"

I lost it. To hear a FOUR YEAR OLD say that, how profound! It is the simplest thing to say, but was worth a ton in weight if you really tihnk about that statement.

Imagine Barack Obama casting his vote for another Black candidate. Imagine that!

Unknown said...

Just my lil story:

Since my neighborhood, in good ol' LI, are strong McCain supporters, I sat there and cried all by myself. At around 6pm, and as the night progressed, I shared all my thoughts and feelings with a group of (8) amazing friends and family thru a blackberry messenger conference, there was serious play by play going on as we all sat in our own living rooms watching history take place. When the announcement was made, I screamed, woke up Anthony(my son), hugged him like if it was New Years, (because that's really what it felt like, a new beginning), then I looked out my window to see if my neighbors, if any, were outside rejoicing as I saw other neighborhoods on TV rejoice, but NOT to my surprise, my neighborhood was SILENT, there wasn't a peep to be heard, all doors were closed and lights were out, and so, I celebrated at home, alone with my bberry and it was still a great private celebration because I knew that the majority of Americans were celebrating with me.

I knew he was going to win, my heart knew he was going to win, but I admit that I feared shenanigans, but when I actually saw the numbers and heard the actual announcement made, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of nervousness, I was shaking, I was giddy, I was scared but I was happy. Boy was I happy..

Throughout his campaign I volunteered for Obama because I believed in him and what he represents, Me!, My Babies! and You!. I did phone banking, I went to South Philly and door knocked, with a little fear, but I did it. Yesterday I door knocked with my 12 year old son and some co-workers as well as handed out leaflet information in Queens reminding everyone to please go out and vote, but my biggest contribution was my vote. Tuesday morning I took both my boys with me, we walked into the booth together, I brought down the Obama button and a few others and together, we held the lever and pulled. So together WE voted and together WE made HIStory!!

As Brooke said, these challenges that are coming OUR way are OUR challenges, not just Obama's and together we will make these next 4 years amazing and prove to those non-believers that SI SE PUEDE!! And as McCain said, Americans have CLEARLY spoken. So on that note, lets make sure not to let OUR President down and each and every one of us needs to step up to the plate, take responsibility for our actions as citizens of these wonderful United States, help improve our communities, teach our children and support OUR President Barack Obama!!..

As for the January 20th, my children and I will be making every attempt to be there. So if you guys know of any deals coming up, please share.

Thank you much, and congratulations to you, for those of you joining my sister and Brooke, have fun tonight!!!

Brooke, Beautiful words!! Thank you..

(Amanda's sister)

Brooke said...

Cynthia, thank you!! And thank you for sharing your experience. Congratulations to you and everyone who voted yesterday! I'll definitely post any information I get regarding Inauguration Day!

Anonymous said...

What a day!!! I am with Amanda every time I think of what just happened I get so filled up with joy that I fight with myself to not cry. When I went out today every black face that I saw we gave a look to each other that was like we all shared the same secret. Everyone was happy but you knew if you talked about it you would cry, so no one said anything, they just smiled and their eyes were filled with a sense of relief. It was very well put by Whoopie Goldberg this morning on the view. She said "I feel like I can finally put my suitcase down." Its like now WE are truly American. Like Brooke said we think about those that are not here with us and what they would have been amazed to see and it made me think about my "step-dad" James Taylor. He would have been so happy and over-whelmed. And for McCain he simply say "BABY SEAT"
Nicole Malek

Brooke said...

Nicole, of course you had to make me tear up at work - AGAIN! James would have been so proud. I can see his face now. Wow, what a day this would have been for him.

For those of you who didn't get that, my stepfather used to yell "BABYSEAT!" when a fighter got knocked out :-) He would have DEFINITELY said that about John McCain. He got SPANKED!

And I know what you mean. Every face seemed to be smiling today. A woman who was in the car next to me as we sat in traffic waiting to go into the Holland Tunnel looked over and flashed the cover of her newspaper to me and I rolled down my window and flashed mine back. She yelled out "yeah baby!" And she was an Indian woman! I think ALL races are riding the Obama High today!

Whoopi nailed it this morning. For those of you who missed it, YouTube it. She said she always felt like we were Americans and this was supposed to be our country, but now she feels like she can finally put her suitcase down. Of course my eyes were puddles again :-) Then Barbara Walters had the nerve to show a snippet of Martin Luther King, Jr.s "I Have a Dream Speech." My toes were tingling as my eyes were saturated once again. Simply amazing.

Thanks Nicole - I love you! Kiss my babies for me, I miss them!

Anonymous said...


Another perspective ...

In Lebanon, a country that is surrounded by countries that have been ruled for decades buy the same man or family, they rejoiced in AWE at how the most powerful nation in the world had a complete yet peaceful upheaval in power.

In Korea there is already a buzz in anticipation of new alliances and agreements that make sense.

Me ... I'm just glad to have a president who won't embarrass himself & this country every single time he goes abroad.

Brooke said...

He makes us proud. I was looking at newspaper covers from around the world online, footage on television from overseas and seeing how the world is celebrating with us. It's unimaginable the respect he garners and hope he gives to the global community. It's like he's the world's president! Amazing!

Ms. Princess said...

Brooke-lyn, let me first express my admiration for how eloquently you've composed this post. I think we all have read many an article on this election and I can say not many seasoned journalists described their experience with as much passion and ferver as you have.
Being not only my illustrious co-worker but also my everyday lunch compadre, we have spoken at length, almost daily, about our journey to the polls on Election Day '08. The confirmation of Sen. Obama as this country's next President-Elect was more than historic, beyond the belief or the realm of what most people thought was ever possible. Contrary to what Mr.-American-History teacher branded in your brain in Middle School Social Studies, Nov. 5th is the day that will live in infamy. Spread love my people.

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