Posted by Lola on Thursday, November 06, 2008
Posted by Lola on Wednesday, November 05, 2008
On June 12, 2008, I wrote this post here: Land That I Love.... The irony of the day I wrote this post is not lost to me now (though I didn't think of it then). And why did I write it? It was an opportunity to share with others what America means to me. To share the good parts of America, the hope, the courage, the determination, the goodness, the HEART of the American people, of America. The world's confidence in the country was at an all time low and falling, and it seemed to everyone that the end of it all was finally here. America had finally been broken, the glory was gone. I have NEVER felt this way for good reason and I wanted to share indeed, what was true to me. America is not a superpower because it has money, but because it is determined, because it works hard, because it believes in a better tomorrow, because it has faith in its peoples, because it was founded by people who left their own homes, on the strength of their beliefs. And it is in all that, that no matter whether tomorrow says China, or India, or South Africa, the country will always STAND.
Excuse me if I go on today. If i tend towards the hyperbolic today. Yesterday, i witnessed something great. ONE man, changed the world.
For me it means many things. In my past life I've lived as an African American. I've felt the struggles of our heroes, MLK, Medger Evers, Rosa Parks, Emmett Till. I've been outraged at Amadou Diallo, at Sean Bell just two years ago. I've listened to Billy Holiday's "Strange Fruit", taken exams on the outrage when Teddy Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House. I've read on Jim Crow laws, and the law that one american black man was worth just 3/5ths of a white one. What a full circle. I've known civil right fighters locked up and hosed down. Four little black girls killed in Alabama for being black. I read of Sally Hemmings who had children for George Washington, whose children where ignored and denied. 221 YEARS of hope. 221 years of an unbroken spirit. The Lord showed it to Martin Luther King. He dreamt of it. He dreamt and the thousands present at that rally wept at the beauty of that dream. That one day, black boys and black girls would hold hands with their white counterparts, and carry a nation as brothers. 221 years that has been impossible.
I saw it last night.
And what of Barack Obama. A stubborn man. A determined man. A courageous man. Who dared to think the impossible, possible. His message means so much to the world. We are one people, and we too can change the world. No matter who you are, what your circumstances are, it is in you, it is in all of us, to dream, to change our world. What a message.
I think of an African man who left his home like many of our parents, to be denigrated, and from the ashes of all the struggles and sacrifice, his son rises to lead the United States of America. It is even too much to think what this means for even our children.
I think of this new generation. My generation whose time has arrived. This is the leader my generation has chosen. In this circle of life, my generation has said enough to the old and stood up to make their voice ring out throughout the world. It is a new morning really. This morning the baton was passed to this new generation. I too feel empowered and ready to take the stage.
Lastly, and most passionately I think of Nigeria. Change is coming my people. Change is coming. I think of when I moved in 2006. I myself wasn't too clear on why, what, and how but once I started living, I could no longer be confused. Forget every other reason, but when repats move back, they bring back everything good they've learned from elsewhere. They demand for customer service, they demand for respect, they demand modernity, they challenge the status quo, they demand for change. That's the important reason to go back to Nigeria. I think of the strides since then, now in 2008. And even more still, people are coming back home. The whole US election campaign of the president-elect has been based on change. In Nigeria we are so used to people telling us we can't. People believe in so many can'ts. But we can. Truly we can. Even in little strides. In basic challenges, the hope is lighted anew. Are we the ones we've been waiting for? Can we, can all of us effect the change we've been waiting for?
I've heard this morning, that we celebrate the re-birth of idealism, waking up to new possibilities. Change is gonna come.