Seeing is Believing

Andre - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in the power to overcome. I believe in the power to overcome the many roadblocks and detours life provides. Being told you will never reach certain aspirations is a part of life. People who dream are often called fools, like a well know man who once delivered a speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. “I Have a Dream”, a phrase so powerful it invokes memories of pain and joy all at the same time, was thought of as just that a dream. Being a minority in America you deal with certain stereotypes that attach themselves to your culture. I am sure that everyone faces different challenges as they mature from adolescence to adulthood, but being told that you will never be seen as an equal. That you will never be given a fair chance to succeed is definitely a part of growing up as a young black male in our civilization

As I watched the election unfold all of these thought went through my head. The word “Never” was a word that had been replaced by the phrase “Yes we can”. People of all races and statuses united to chant and sing the praises one man. There were screams of joy echoing outside of my window that sent shivers down my spine. As I lay in my bed, wearing a combination of clothes that made me feel comfortable and look bizarre, I witnessed grown men cry on my T.V. screen. I lay there with feelings of overwhelming joy and pride. Barack Obama was real.

A man born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu Hawaii became the first black president of the America. The historic nature of this occasion is something that should be appreciated by all people-democrats, republicans, independents, and any other political affiliation. This was a moment the nation could look at as the ultimate sign of progress. If there was any skepticism over how far America has come and how far we will go as a nation, let this be the warrant for hope. This was change I could believe in.

A lot of different memories hit me after the election results were final. The first thought was of my great uncle who had just passed away a couple of months before the election. I thought of how happy he would have been to know his volunteering wasn’t in vain. Then I thought of all the people who came before me and sacrificed their lives so that I can lead a better life today. For about ten minutes, I vigorously fought back my tears. Had I been born in the previous generation I would have lost that fight. My upcoming tests and assignments for class didn’t seem so big. I stayed up until 1 am that day, knowing full well I had to be up at 6 am. I watched the President elect’s entire speech and all the post election coverage I could. I witnessed history. I watched a real dream