Tuesday, August 3, 2010

THE AUDACITY OF HOPE - January 5, 2008

Senator Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 National Democratic Convention. I watched and enjoyed his keynote speech for John Kerry’s failed bid for the presidency. The speech titled “The Audacity of Hope” was electrifying and gave Americans especially black Americans a glimmer of hope. That hope included the possibility that Obama a black man might one day become the President of the United States of America.

On January 5, 2008, at 2:40am I wrote a blog entry for Dr. Boyce Watkins' site  I wrote the blog after Senator Obama did what many African-Americans believed was impossible. Obama won the Iowa Democratic Caucuses.  The titled of the blog was “The Audacity of Hope.”

                                                          THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

”On Thursday night I visited my oldest daughter. She gave me the political junkie permission to turn the television to a cable news channel. As I read the words on the television screen "Obama wins the Iowa Democratic Caucus" I blinked my eyes. The scene changed to a political analyst. As one of the MSNBC analysts spoke the words "Obama has won the Iowa Democratic Caucus" I screamed and jumped up and down.

I could not believe my eyes or ears. Until that very moment I was one of those undecided Black voters. I did not like our chances for victory with Hillary or Senator Obama. I wanted a Democrat, any Democrat, in the White House in 2009. As a matter of fact I was “hoping” that Al Gore would enter the race in order for the Democrats to win back the White House.

Although I watched more than my share of democratic debates in 2007, I did not dare to hope that Senator Obama could win the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that he could win in Iowa a state with a ninety-five percentage white population.

A few weeks earlier, I watched Oprah on the campaign trail with Obama in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. The enthusiasm of the large overwhelmingly white audience in Iowa was refreshing. Watching those two great Americans being judged for the content of their character and not the color of their skin gave me my first glimmer of "hope." Seeing Obama and Oprah with our people in South Carolina gave me even more "hope."

Obama’s victory speech on Thursday night was presidential. It was without a doubt one of the best political speeches of my generation. As a fifty-three year old black woman I hope that this man Obama time has come, that his time is now! Today I have the audacity to hope, pray, and believe that Senator Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States of America.”

Vera Richardson
Author of Screwed by Former Governor and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

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