"So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?"
--President-Elect Barack Obama, Grant Park, November 4, 2008
On Tuesday, I spent the day with my 6-year old niece. Like our new first-second (?) daughter, she's unbelievably cute. She's super smart and has a wisdom beyond her years. When you look in her eyes you see joy, inquisitiveness and a playful spirit.
My niece was out of school on Tuesday because the local school system was closed for business. The powers that be claimed that because of the heightened "enthusiasm" surrounding the election, children should stay home since many schools double as polling places. While I'm sure some parents grumbled at having to find childcare on such short notice, my niece was elated.
She came home on Monday bouncing off the walls, proclaiming that there was no school tomorrow. When I asked her why she replied, "cause it's election day!"
MJ -- Who is the president?
Niecey -- George Washington.....Carver
MJ -- Uhhh, no. George Bush but he's forgettable. Who do we want to be president?
Niecey -- Arack Obama!
MJ -- Barack Obama! Go girl go girl go girl!
So the next morning, my niece and I were up bright and early. I had signed up to volunteer with the Obama campaign in Georgia and decided to take her along with me. As we pulled up to the local Democratic headquarters, I felt excited and cautiously optimistic. We walked up to the front desk and offered ourselves for whatever task needed to be done. The woman smiled and sent us out front to wave Obama signs along the sidewalk.
I grabbed a sign and passed one to my niece who looked at my skeptically. But once we stepped out front she became the biggest cheerleader. We took pictures with our signs and posed in front of a lifesize Arack Obama. She caught on quickly...FIRED UP! READY TO GO! FIRED UP! READY TO GO! She was a trooper for about 30 minutes before she asked, "can I play games on your cellphone?" At that point I knew it was time to go.
Now, a day after the morning after, as I talk to my friends, family members, co-workers, and random strangers on the street about how "we did it," I am still in quiet shock and ecstatic on the inside. I am overwhelmed with happiness for my grandmother, who did not have the opportunity to graduate from high school because she was married with children by the time she was 16. I am elated for my mother, who saw a cross burned on her aunt's front lawn when she was a little girl. But what moves me the most is my niece and her Obama experience. How wonderful it is that she got to participate in this election. That she can look back at that photo of her holding an Obama sign over her head at age 6 and say to her grandkids, I was there! That she got to witness Obama's resounding victory over McCain when folks thought it couldn't be done. And most of all that she gets to start her racial victories, her "how we got over" stories with Barack, her "I remember when the first black president was elected" story at the age of 6. Her forever gon be so fun!
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot