JOJO’S JOURNAL – A CHANGE HAS FINALLY COME
I am ecstatic! This is a WOO moment! We are ALL a part of history! For the FIRST time a Black man has been elected COMMANDER IN CHIEF of the United States of America! It has been a long time coming but we knew a change HAD to come.
One of the first things I thought about was my father, Rev. John W. Pettiford, who passed away January 19, 2007 at the age of 86. He was a God fearing, proud, Southern Black man who had lived through the horror of segregation and Jim Crow laws. Daddy would have been proud to see this day. As I write this article my tears are still flowing. I am crying tears of pride, joy and of hope. I am so very proud of ALL Americans – all of us who exercised our right to vote. I am proud of all the young people who voted for the first time. Yes, it is a good day to be alive in America.
The New York Daily News says it best in their editorial on page 9 of the election special pull-out. For those of you who are not in the New York/New Jersey area and can’t get the newspaper, you can go online to read the NY Daily News’ powerful words. I share a portion of the NY Daily News’ eloquent words:
“Two hundred twenty-one years ago, the Founding Fathers wrote into the U.S. Constitution that slaves were to be counted as three-fifths of a human being in the representative democracy that was being born.
One hundred and forty-seven years ago, the states of the South launched the Civil War to defend the free white citizen’s power to hold others in bondage.
One hundred and twelve years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws consigning blacks to “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional.
Forty years ago, a presidential candidate won the votes of 10 million Americans despite having declared, as governor of Alabama: “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” (I HOPE YOU ALL KNOW WHO SAID THAT).
And, today, this nation – so haunted by the original sin of slavery, so riven by the torments of race and yet so dedicated to the ideal that all men are created equal – has elevated a black man to the presidency.
Sixty-one years ago, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Fifty-two years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.
Forty-four years ago (JUST 44 YEARS AGO, YA’LL!!) Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through Congress and followed with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (THAT WASN’T THAT LONG AGO!)
Forty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life.
Twenty-four years ago, Oprah Winfrey got a t.v. talk show.”
The article goes on and on. It filled me with pride, joy, understanding and a hopefulness that I have not felt in quite some time. I called my eldest son this morning congratulating him for voting. Congratulating him on seeing this historic moment when I thought it would NOT happen in my lifetime. I went on to explain to him how he and his entire generation must help President Obama. How his generation must make our new Chief proud to be a Black man. By that I mean – stop killing each other, fill the college classrooms with Black men seeking a higher education, walk proud, stand tall! Damn it! Change! Change! Change!
And, the most important thing, AMERICA’s new president can bridge the tremendous racial divide in this country. This election has actually showed that – more white Americas voted for this man than people could ever imagine. Now THAT says a lot! Dr. King is smiling from above because America judged Barack Obama “by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.”