Last night I was working. I was sending messages to make sure people voted, and writing a little report, and working the phones, and watching the proposition returns come back in. I was celebrating, and my eyes welled up, by I didn’t cry. This morning I woke up, and it was real, and I let myself feel it. MMMM.
Here’s my first email I sent today:
Did y’all feel it? We all flew up into the air last night at the same moment!! I felt the planet expand with all of that leaping joy at once lifting off of it, that victory coursing through us from our toes up to our heads! Old believers and new believers lifted up within ourselves in a rapture. I was with a bunch of cynical black folks, we go to each other to joke off the pain of most days trying to make change in the world. And we were watching, laughing, joking on people’s outfits and faces and make-up, smiling as each state was called and then waiting for it, waiting for it…
And then suddenly whoosh, lift-off of hope, and we were hugging each other and screaming and calling our families and screaming. My dad had a heart attack this year and lived to see this moment. My uncle had a heart attack Monday but sent his wife with the forms to register his vote. My baby momma sister was disenfranchised cause Medicaid lost her registration (along with a lot of other young mommas) but she voted absentee so her son can know she was in that number. Friends I haven’t heard from in too long, and all we could do was scream into the phone and hug someone and say wowowowowowowowow!!!
We needed more space, so we went to the corner of Grand and Broadway here in Oakland, where folks were waiting to get into Luka’s to celebrate. We had drums with us, and the drummers started playing them there in the street, and dancing, dancing to the honking of every car driving by with folks hanging out holding their Obama signs and t-shirts and screaming, all faces, all races, the joy of it. I kept being struck by newness of the faces I was seeing, non-organizing faces, joyful as mine, wanting what I wanted. We worked ourselves into a frenzy, gathering more and more people, taking more and more of the street. The police came with little barriers and then tried to contain us. But it wasn’t that kind of night. We leapt past every barrier, danced up on the cops till they too got to smile, did the electric slide, shimmied our black booties across the hoods of people’s cars, spun around arms thrown open, we jumped up and down and did the toi toi; I had never seen this in America, not for politics. For sports maybe, in one city, but not for politics, and reverberating around the whole world.
And it was work, I can trace the last 8 years of my intentional work to this moment, as can nearly everyone I know. It feels so unbelievably, incredibly, right.
I woke up this morning with a new to do list 🙂