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.