The sound of enfranchisement

I’ve heard a lot of sounds on campus tonight.

When Virginia came up blue, I heard a surging mass of privelaged white liberal arts students bounce off the walls screaming and hollering with victory.

I heard the rolling waves of my fellow students surge out of a multi-purpose room, onto the paths of Drew University, joined by students running from their rooms, literally baning on pots and pans.

And I heard a thunderous “Boo!” when McCain’s acceptance speech turned to thanking Sarah Palin.

But, back when Virginia came up blue, I was sitting with a group of black students, five of them. And from them I heard a differenet sound, a quieter sound. They sat down and cried. And one of them, a tall guy, stood up, tears streaming down his face and shouted, “All this time! All this time! All waiting for this moment!”

I had underestimated the role of race in this election. But I finally understood its roll listening to that guy and watching his friends cry. I heard at that moment the sound of enfranchisement. And it is a beautiful sound.

I heard a lot of sounds on campus tonight, but the sound of enfranchisement is the one that will stick with me till the day God comes down to get me.

3 Responses to The sound of enfranchisement

  1. Torie November 4, 2008 at 10:53 pm #

    That is an awesome memory to associate with today. I wish more people could see what you saw and realize exactly what it means. Instead, we see the opposite view more often. We see the people who have a skewed view of skin. I enjoyed this post. I’ll remember your story for this date.

  2. Harold November 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    What a great thing to have experienced. I never thought this would happen in my lifetime. We should all be proud.

  3. Anastasia November 7, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.