Yesterday, as my little family walked into our polling place, we passed a shuffling, elderly black couple as they were leaving. My heart instantly swelled up in my throat, and I felt the urge to hug them, or give a thumbs up, or just acknowledge in some way what a huge and powerful moment in time it was. I somehow restrained myself and gave them a smile instead. I realize that it's ridiculous, and incredibly presumptuous of me to assume they had voted for Obama--for all I know they're staunch conservatives. But to think that they must have vivid memories of separate bathrooms and drinking fountains, a sign in a nearby small town that until the 1970s warned them to not let the sun set on them in that place, Dr. King, Medgar Evers, the March on Washington, and now, finally, in 2008, they had opportunity to vote for a black man for president. Well, it was almost too much for me to bear.
As our little girl--the embodiment of my hopes and dreams, my very heart--stuck an "I voted" sticker on her baby doll and said "Here Baby. Arock Omama," I could feel real hope for the future swirling around us like the gold and orange November leaves. Today is the most proud I have ever been to be an American.