I never thought standing outside for five hours on a mucky, cold day to see potentially the greatest celebrity of my generation would later be announced as the 44th President of the United States of America. Looking up at up at Barack Obama I did not see his dark lips, eyes or his skin, I just saw hope for the future. Being only one insignificant person in a crowd of thousands I could sense change was about to come and history was about to happen. His victory is not only a laudatory event for the African American community but for the nation as a whole.
Frederick Douglass once said “A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.” My grandfather Frederick Douglass Williams might have been named after that extraordinary slave, but he also carries some of the same remarkable attributes. Being a proud black man, my grandfather would always let his pride get the best of him and never felt the need to vote for a man who he felt could care less if his family had food on the table or not. At thirteen, being the eldest child he made the selfless decision of dropping out of school in the 8th grade to drive a school bus in order to support his mother and siblings. Today at 64, he still drives a local bus after retiring from General Shale Bricks after 40 years. He never had the desire or felt like his vote counted until he listened to Barack Obama plan for change in America.
On November 4, 2008, my grandfather Frederick Douglass Williams cast his ballot for the democratic party of the United States of America, for the first time. My grandmother Theresa said he was teary eyed the entire day as he could not seem to vanish the grin off his face. Calling him shortly I could hear the excessive enthusiasm in his raspy, weeping voice stating, “I feel like this country is changing overnight and I’m proud to be apart of it!”
My family is only a minuscule of the enormous amount of pride and hope Barack Obama has brought not only to the African American community, but the United States as a whole unified nation. He promises to bring change and reassures us with his captivating slogans such as, “Yes We Can,” which emphasizes that together as one nation we can overcome. “Although some of his ideas may sound “too good to be true,” his main goal is to accommodate to the United States as a whole. Barack Obama represents a symbol to all nationalities, ages, and creeds of living that with hard work and dedication, any dreams can be accomplished.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.