Wednesday, November 5, 2008

When A Writer Is Rendered Speechless

As a woman who makes a living by stringing together words (roughly, 85,000 of them per novel), I can honestly say that there haven't been many moments in my lifetime when I found myself literally speechless. I've been surprised. I've been awed. I've been blindsided. I've even been amazed. But rarely has whatever it was that unfolded before me, left me unable to utter a word. Last night was the exception.

When Senator Barack Obama became President-Elect Barack Obama, I was too moved for words. For the first few moments following CNN's announcement, all I could do was stare at my television screen, looking at words and images that tears had blurred beyond recognition.

I had followed the happenings of the presidential race. Saw the number of contending democratic hopefuls dwindle to three, then two, then one. All the while, I was impressed at how this man, who, until three or four years ago was a virtual unknown, spoke with such eloquence, proliferated such knowledge, and handled himself with such dignity. A family man. A God-fearing man. An educated man. A black man.

The odds were most definitely against Obama. He came from a broken home where his father left when Barack was two, and only returned once to visit when he was ten. After that, he never saw his father again. Obama had only served in the Senate for a few years and was still viewed as "green" and "inexperienced" by his opponents. They said he wasn't ready to be president. Wasn't qualified. And add to that that he was African American (the product of a black father and a white mother) and his chances seemed slimmer than slim. Yet, unfazed and unintimidated, Senator Obama set out to become the holder of the highest political office in the United States.

Few expected him to win the democratic nomination against the better known, well-liked and more experienced Senator Hilary Clinton. But with the declaration of three words that became his mantra: "Yes We Can," Illinois Senator, Barack Obama began a long, historic battle that he ultimately won, not only against Senator Clinton, but against the much-respected Republican hopeful, Senator John McCain, making Senator Obama President of the United States of America.

I'm not sure why the realization of it all rendered me dumbfounded. Perhaps it was because I never thought that a man who looked like me would ever be voted U.S. President. Maybe it was because I was grateful that not only had it happened in my lifetime, but that even my parents, who participated in marches, sit-ins and endured the days of segregation, had lived to see it. Perhaps it was because God had just given my children an excellent example to assure them that with Him, all things are possible if they believe. Maybe it was a mixture of all of the above.

Whatever the reason, November 4, 2008 goes down in my life's history as the day I became proudest of my country. The day that I became happiest to be an American citizen. The day I came to believe, more than ever, that a change.....a GOOD change was on its way to our government and our world.

Many books will arise from this moment in history. Authors from within the U.S. and beyond will capture pieces of Obama's life and his journey between the lines of their novels, memoirs, children's books and poetry. And no doubt, all that will be written won't be positive. Everybody didn't vote for him. There were some who desired to see him fail. But years ago, before the foundation of the world, God's pen wrote Barack Hussein Obama's name as the 44th U.S. President, and His pen is always right.

God bless our President-Elect Obama. God bless our newest first lady, Michelle Obama. God bless their children, Malia and Natasha (Sasha) Obama. May the Lord protect them from harm's way, keep them in His grace, and provide them with all of the knowledge, courage and strength that they will need to successfully lead our country into a brighter future.

God bless the United States of America.


Maurice Gray said...

Well said! Believe me, you weren't the only one rendered speechless by the enormity of the moment.

Aziza Bailey said...

I was in awe as well. God is so good!

Alvin C. Romer said...

Kendra, there's not too much I can say that hasn't been said or emotionally expressed through tears and testimonies. I WILL say that I, as well as others 'predicted' this victory (see my essay at I can identify with all that you intoned, and truly the threshold of history has been crossed. But allow me to take this to another level.

I feel that God had a lot to say about the state of affairs that make up this remarkable happening. If I may say that this has already been ordained Biblically, then know that the spirituality of it should not be ignored. The Divine order depicting "the last shall be first and the first shall be last" in my opinion is relative to us finally being favored to improve our lot, and Barack is the standard bearer and icon for it. Of course, we the people are not exempt from doing our part, and take advantage of the significance of what we have achieved.

Moreover, I will paraphrase a bit of Biblical content thereof to illustrate my point in the book of Hebrews 11:32-34 as it depict (Barak) a man of faith: "Barak, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength, and who became powerful in battle routing foreign nations".

But wait! Go to Judges 4:6 - God through Deborah commands Barak "Go and lead the way..." This is AWESOME! There's no way in the world that can't convince me that this man wont be successful. His disposition and penchant for orderliness amid the earmarks of a born leader is evident. Kendra, your comments are right on time and I echo your sentiments wholeheartedly!

We must do our part to ensure that this is a total effort where all of us band together as one - both nations Black and white to fulfill what God has already revealed. It's a done deal!

Zaria Garrison said...

Awesome blog Kendra. Hope you don't mind but I will be sharing this with friends.