Monday, November 3, 2008

2008 Presidential Election: Living and Breathing History


In less than six hours people will be living and breathing history.

It will be the first time an African-American candidate will be an option on the U.S. presidential ballot. In addition, it will be the first time a woman is running as a candidate for U.S. vice president.

By the time the polls close Barack Obama could be the first black president of the U.S. Or Sarah Palin could be the first woman to serve as U.S. vice president.

Either way this election will go down as an election of firsts.

And I'm reminded by my 93-year-old grandmother who will be among many who will be voting for Barack Obama.

Gladys Willis was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1915. She moved to Harlem, N.Y. in 1939 and then to Teaneck, N.J. in 1961. While in Montgomery she even played the organ at church for Rosa Parks, who sang in the choir. She said she was only paid $2 per week.

I interviewed my grandmother about her feelings on the election.

She was confident Barack Obama would win and was thrilled about the chance to vote for him.

When I asked her if she ever thought there would be a black president she said, "[I] didn't never think about it because problems like we're having today, we weren't having years ago. We just accepted what we had, but now these generations have changed the world."

She cited Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision for a world where people would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

"The time is coming," she said. "It doesn't matter whether you're black, white, green, blue, yellow, it doesn't matter anymore. We're going to be all the same. That's what God wanted to happen in his world."

Interview to be posted soon...stay tuned!

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