Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

A Nation in Awe

Those of us who stepped up to the voting machine yesterday and voted for Barack Obama did so out of a commitment to radical change. What we got in last night’s victory was that and more. We felt awe and wonder — as a nation. Shouts of joy and thanksgiving and all sorts of spontaneous celebrations erupted in American streets, and even around the world, when the news came across the wire that America had elected Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.

We all struggle to find the words to talk about this transformational moment in history.  We are all still speechless and in awe this morning at what we managed to pull off as a nation and as a generation on yesterday.

Election-watch parties took place all over the country, in homes, in churches, in bars, in the streets. The one at my house consisted of a motley crew of African Americans, Caribbean Americans, and one Jew. We yelled and screamed and clapped and hugged and gave each other high-fives here when CNN declared Senator Barack Obama, an African-American, the 44th President of the United States of America. Before the night was over and everyone headed home hoarse and bleary eyed, we formed a circle, made the teens among us stand in the middle of our circle, took one another’s hand and thanked God for our ancestors’ prayers and thanked God for what our eyes have seen and our ears have heard.


I wish my father, a Depression-era born Southern black man who never made it past the tenth grade, hadlived to see this;day.

I cried the tears my father and mother would have cried. I cried for the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth, Adam Clayton Powell, W. E. B. Dubois, Bebe Moore Campbell, Richard Allen, Booker T. Washington, Fannie Lou Hammer, Shirley Chisholm, H. Rap Brown, Huey P. Newton, Rosa Parks, and every soul who marched, sang freedom songs, passed out a social justice flyers, pushed NAACP membership applications, drove a bus for Freedom Riders, and those nameless folks holding up handwritten signs volunteering to march for just not civil rights, but American rights for the slaves who built this country with their bare hands as they were separated from their loved ones.


My cry was for those who were once silenced  by the KKK, skinheads, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, White Citizens Council, Aryan Nations, racist religious zealots and conservative political pundits creating a climate of fear for minorities, an atmosphere of agony for community activists, and seven degrees of deception for deacons of peace. My cry was for my daughter and those of her generation who can see the realization of a dream deferred. For Obama’s election was not just a race victory but the victory of a new generation of Americans.

And, oh by the way, this is a great time to be a preacher! Oh the sermons you can preach now about belief, deliverance, possibility, God’s Divine Hand, opportunity, how miracles happen, what you do when miracles happen, unity and collective responsibility.

This is the LORD’S doing; and it is marvelous in our eyes!
(Psalm 118:23)

Comments read comments(3)
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Lexi Levy

posted November 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Bravo … Bravo … Bravo!!! Still starry & gooey eyed … choking up on and off all day long!!!

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posted November 5, 2008 at 7:42 pm

It was time for this to happen…..and it did! Excellent!!!

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Jon Brandon

posted November 7, 2008 at 3:54 pm

You, Renita Weems, may “struggle to find the words to talk about this transformational moment in history,” but I do not. How about these words: Yuck. Gag. Ick. Help. Suckers. Ugh. One term. Hope.
How’s that, for starters? (At least I got “hope” in there.)
Great time to be a preacher, is it? Well, tell us something, Parson Weems. How is it that you have the nerve to talk about “racist religious zealots” when the one and only racist religious zealot in this year’s election was the pastor of your candidate’s vile church? It’s a fine time to be a preacher, all right. You just put into office the most left wing and anti-life candidate in the history of presidential politics. An outright socialist who thinks the government should take money and opportunity away from successful and deserving people and give it to–thieves. What else can you call people who support Obama’s policies? What do you think about a few sermons on “Thou shalt not steal”? Or how about “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”? Last time I checked, “God’s Divine Hand” wasn’t buried in the taxpayer’s back pocket, and it sure wasn’t tearing the arms and legs from unborn babies with a pair of forceps. I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you are just another committed leftist who believes in state-sanctioned theft. That puts you about two pegs higher on the evolutionary scale than the vast majority of ignorant numbskulls who had no idea what Obama’s policies really were but voted for him strictly because his skin is darker than John McCain’s. Fortunately, there are a couple more transformational moments coming up, in 2010 and 2012. Let’s just pray that we can stop Obama from doing too much damage to the economy and the social infrastructure of America before we’re able to toss him out on his can. Amen.

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