Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama's election - things that moved me

President Barack Obama's election has meant so many things to so many people, and what I find most interesting is our individual reaction - how each of us feel on a personal level. Here are some of the stories that have moved me over the past few days.

This story made me cry:

The butler sees a new White House (Los Angeles Times, November 7):

President Truman called him Gene. President Ford liked to talk golf with him. He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week.

"I never missed a day of work," Allen said.

He was there while racial history was made: Brown vs. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.

When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia. "We had never had anything," Allen, 89, recalled of black America at the time. "I was always hoping things would get better."

This set of images made me gasp at the perfection of it all (Manassas, VA rally):

Oooh that kid has an Obama sign. Wish I had one...

Hey dude! You wanna borrow my Obama sign?

Yaaay! Now I'm waving the Obama sign in the air! This is cool!

Victory to Obama! Hey - you wanna come and play at my house after the rally? Quick - get your dad to ask my dad if it's OK...

Charles Blow's piece - And Then They Wept - is pretty amazing - as are the comments (New York Times, November 4):

Vonda Jackson reacts in Baltimore after hearing that Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States.
History will record this as the night the souls of black folk, living and dead, wept - and laughed, screamed and danced - releasing 400 years of pent up emotion.

They were the souls of those whose bodies littered the bottom of the Atlantic, whose families were torn asunder, whose names were erased.

They were those who knew the terror of being set upon by men with clubs, of being trapped in a torched house, of dangling at the end of a rough rope.

They were the souls of those who knew the humiliation of another person's spit trailing down their faces, of being treated like children well into their twilight years, of being derided and despised for the beauty God gave them.

They were also the tears of those for whom "Yes We Can", Obama's campaign slogan, took on a broader, more profound meaning.

And I wept along with Sherri Shepherd as she tried to explain what Obama's win meant to her as an African-American and mother to a special-needs child:

This Obama ad still brings me to tears when I watch it:

And I'm not ashamed to say that I *sobbed* while watching this live on TV. Awesome.

What has moved you most over this past week?

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Anonymous said...

I really don't understand Obama supporters!

He preached "CHANGE" for a year, yet all you post is the past, does that represent Obama (I think so). Open your eyes, we don't live in the 1950's.

Move on...

webweaver said...

Hi Anonymous!

Thanks for responding to my post.

Here are a couple of quotes for you:

History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are. (David C McCullough)

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past. (Edward Gibbon)

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. (George Santayana)

We can learn from history how past generations thought and acted, how they responded to the demands of their time and how they solved their problems. We can learn by analogy, not by example, for our circumstances will always be different than theirs were. The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone. They foreclose the possibility of making other choices and thus they determine future events. (Gerda Lerner)

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the sound of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. (Jawaharial Nehru)

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. (Maya Angelou)

Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack ran so we all can fly. (Unknown)