Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Forgive the long absence. I've been thinking about how to get this blog back to afrogeek parenting and way from political rants (though they do have their uses), but this election has been all-consuming.

This morning Frances and I got up before the sun to stand in line and vote for Barack Obama. I think maybe Frances was more excited than I was. She kept reminding me that we said she could stay up late to watch election returns. She was giddy as she pressed the blinking vote button.

Frances's enthusiasm about this election and the death of Obama's grandmother has me thinking about my own great-grandmother who used to deliver regular lectures about the importance of voting. We'd be pulling weeds in her garden (a chore I absolutely detested and that she seemed all too eager to have me perform) and she'd be telling me about all the people who literally died so that I can vote. She never wanted to hear that I skipped out on any opportunity to participate in the democratic process. She lived just down the road from another great-grandmother who hoped that she would live long enough to have me take her own a cruise. She'd never been on a big boat or seen the Gulf of Mexico, much a less an ocean, and believed, of all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, that I would be the one to help her realize that dream.

It's all so corny and every black person has a million of these stories, but it's still so true. The women who helped raise me had such simple, yet profound, dreams for me and for themselves--to vote, to ride in a big boat, to marry someone I love rather than someone who can take care of me--that it seems almost unbelievable that I got to vote for a major party black candidate for president this morning. These women cleaned white people's houses all their lives and never did get to see that I grew up to be a college professor and the first black women to do a lot of things (a surprising number of things, really, considering that I was born in 1973, not 1903). But I hope they were watching somewhere this morning as I took their great-great-granddaughter into vote.

1 comment:

jody said...