Obama and my mama

Let me preface this blog entry by saying it won’t have anything to do with music. You probably could have guessed that from the title.

I can not pass up the opportunity to talk about the excitement this election season is having on my family – in particular, my mother.

First, let me let you in on a little family background. Politics were not a topic of discussion in my house. My mother was too busy rearing two daughters to discuss such things. Any talk about politics would be my father’s domain – but I can’t recall having conversations with my father about politics when I was younger either.

My mother didn’t take us to the polls when she cast her vote because she didn’t – she was too busy working.

It’s not until recently that mom has been exercising her right. She’s not a fan of either Bushes and she used to like Clinton (Bill that is), but he fell out of her favor when the current process of selecting a candidate for the Democrats began.

As most people are aware, last week was the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Colorado. I was reared in Denver and my family still lives there. My sister volunteered at the convention and my extended family all had a part in the historic occasion.

Unable to travel home, I lived vicariously through my sister’s five-day odyssey (boy, she has some great stories to tell and I hope she blogs about it like I told her to).

Back to mom. I called her to catch up and the conversation quickly turned to Barack Obama. “Do you really think he has a shot at winning the presidency?” she asked with a cautiousness in her voice.

Born in 1943, my mother has been through plenty as a Black woman in America. She’s experienced Jim Crow laws firsthand and has lived through the Civil Rights movement.

She knows being alive to witness a Black man be a major contender for the presidency of the United States is a historic occasion she never expected to see in her lifetime – or mine or the children I have yet to have.

As our talk continued, my mom went on and on about how she watched every moment of the DNC on CSPAN. “I didn’t want to hear what the reporters had to say,” she told me.

“Did you see Ted Kennedy?” she asked. “Stevie Wonder tore it up and Jennifer Hudson did a good job singing the national anthem,” she continued.

Michelle Obama’s speech was really good and their daughters are too cute.” On and on my mom went about everything she saw.

I couldn’t help but feel a mixture of shock, pride and delight as I listened to my mother inform me about the lies “they” keep telling about Barack and how Hillary gets on her “last nerve.”

Never before, my mother said, has she watched a convention. “I never saw the need.”

But Barack Obama, with his passion to move America in a different direction, has my mother in a place she thought she would never be – hopeful that, come Nov. 4, this country will elect the right man to office. Not just because he’s a Black man, but because he’s the best option to lead this nation out of the despair and dysfunction it currently is in.

I anticipate that on Jan. 20, 2009, my mom will be beaming with pride as Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America.

I know I will.


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