Exercising My Citizen’s Right

As I awoke this morning at 5:15 I offered a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to participate in today’s election process. I felt profoundly moved as I thought of loved ones who’ve passed on before this historic day.  With tears in my eyes I said, “C’mon y’all let’s go vote” and called aloud the names of those I’d take with me to the polls: Charles Strother, Ethel and Edward Chatmon, Sr., Edward Chatmon, Jr., Oliver Strother, Rosa Durham, Milford Jeter, Florence Harris, Antoinette Tisdale, Otis and Voncile Chatmon, Avieann Harris, Arrondo Gallman, Cassie and James Bowles, Llewyn McCoy, Lillian Jones, Carole Izzard, Juanita and Edward Fletcher and Adrienne McDonald. I thought of Elaine Bromfield and Elijah Jefferson, the beloved, recently departed mother and son of dear friends. I thought of the babies Rebecca and Christopher who didn’t make it to celebrate first birthdays and my own son, who didn’t make it into the world.

I carried them all with me as I joined a group of proud Brooklynites awaiting the opening of the polling place at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.  The energy was palpable, a subdued excitement, but moreover, a moving reverence.  By 6:30 I’d cast my vote and I’ll spend the rest of this day in service of encouraging other citizens to exercise their right to vote and encouraging them to choose wisely.



8 Responses

  1. YES!

  2. On the lower east side, my usual polling place, in Rafael Hernandez House, it was packed as I have never seen it be in the two-plus decades I have been voting there. It was beautiful, seeing the faces of all who showed up to play their part in this moment.

    Thanks so much Sharon for your beautiful meditation on those dear to you who may not physically be here but are so much a huge part of this day. Alright, tears are coming up now! It does feel like an honor to be experiencing this and get to have any hope again.

    Peace, solidarity and HOPE to all. May Obama win, and may the healing of this country’s psyche and soul continue onwards more strongly than ever.

  3. I really miss the old Brooklyn voting machines, with toggles and levers. They made voting seem to darn solid. I voted absentee here in VA, and it just felt kind of light-weight.

  4. wonderful!! I felt the same way…carrying with me especially my grandmother Hazel Stewart…

  5. I should have brought tissues to the poll. Thank you for including my mom in the post. She was with me all the way and we both pulled the lever.

  6. 11pm, I saw the result OBAMA PRESIDENT ELECT! I ran to the terrace (15th Floor) and shouted “OBAMA IS PRESIDENT!, WE DID IT”. It was alot like Network the movie. I heard someone shout up “WHAT!”. Other people began to shout, horns blew. I kept screaming “WE DID IT, WE DID IT!”. Others answer back. Then there were fireworks. We have much work to do. Barack will not be handing out dollar bills, giving deeds of land away, or handing out college degrees without our earning it, but one thing for sure we CAN realize our dreams. YES WE CAN! DAMN IT! YES WE CAN!

  7. YES WE DID!

  8. Beautiful!

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