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How my neighborhood celebrated tonight

 
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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:56 am    Post subject: How my neighborhood celebrated tonight Reply with quote

Tonight when Barack Obama garnered enough votes to put him over the top - a shout went out not only in my home but in the whole Housing complex I live in. People started honking their horns. They all came out onto the balconies and into the streets. Shouting with joy, singing, waving to each other and dancing. It was thrilling, exhilirating and joyful. And yet part of me feels like its all a wonderful dream that is somehow unreal.
Watching my neighbors and the beautiful faces of my fellow Americans at the rallies on TV - I was overcome with the reality of the goodness that has always been part of our people and country. I know there is much hardship in store for us in the future - but tonight - I am so happy and hopeful!
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwen, Well, no shouting from the rooftops in my neighborhood, but I know there were plenty of neighbors that were happy. It was an awesome election night though, topping it off with his speech. I thought it very hopeful and uplifting. Now the work begins for him. I wish him the very best and also to his family.
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Charlotte McClain



Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 399
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was eerily quiet in my neighborhood. I know people were happy, but I think the late hour played into it, as did the tension of not knowing where too much happiness could lead.
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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The celebrating last night lasted for about 20 to 30 minutes. It stopped when Barack gave his speech. But it was definitely a lovely New York moment I'll always remember. The family next door who share a connecting balcony with us waved at us and we all laughed and shouted down at the people on the street and at the folks on the balconies at the buildings across from us. People were shouting out "Obama", "Hail To The Chief!' "We Did It" , "Yes, Yes!". Alot of people were jumping up and down or dancing. We started singing or loudly humming "Hail To The Chief".
It was a spontaneous burst of joy.

I worry that one man cannot live up to so much expectation and hope but Obama is so level headed and brilliant that I think he will do the best he can which has got to be better than what we've had, at the least. Maybe he'll be one of our great Presidents. He knows how to lead and inspire, thats for sure.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worry that one man cannot live up to so much expectation and hope but Obama is so level headed and brilliant that I think he will do the best he can which has got to be better than what we've had, at the least. Maybe he'll be one of our great Presidents. He knows how to lead and inspire, thats for sure.[/quote]



I agree with you Gwen about him living up to so much expectation. I just read this open letter to Barack Obama from Alice Walker and the whole letter is lovely but the third paragraph speaks of the expectations...


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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Xina, thank you for the Alice Walker piece. She has always been one of my favorite people on the planet. I've always thought of her as an old soul with much spiritual wisdom. I just took down from the shelf my old, yellowing copy of her essays "In Search Of Our Mother's Gardens". At one time in my life I read it over and over. I don't want to be sentimental but that book really did nourish my soul.

Wouldn't it be great if Obama could actually read Walker's letter?
I wonder which poet he'll pick to speak at his inauguration?

you know - my hope is that Obama can lift up this nation and our people can be united. I hope it doesn't sound too corny but this election makes me want to be a better person and do something good with my life. Even if its only in a small way.


Last edited by Gwen G on Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I should probably preface this by explaining that I go to the most politically active college in the country. As my friend said yesterday, "People say we don't have school spirit, but our school spirit is for America. We may differ politlcally a lot, but it's all about our country."

I went to an election watch party in our student center. There were probably 500 people, at least. Most of them were Obama supporters, though there were one or two McCain people who had big signs and bumper stickers on their foreheads. A giant screen was projecting CNN, with smaller TVs scattered around with other news stations. A German news channel had been camped out on campus since yesterday, and they were doing a lot of filming and interviewing there. Red white and blue balloons, christmas lights, decorations, etc. were all over, and there were cardboard cutouts of McCain and Obama.

Every time a state was projected, people started cheering--then either cheering louder when it went to Obama, or booing if it went to McCain. Senate races got cheers, too, but not as extensive as the presidnetial projections. Though Kay Hagan's victory got a lot of screaming.

Early on, it was mostly predictable ones--Southern states, like GA or SC, and the big Northeast states like NJ and Massachusetts. Things got REALLY crazy when they called Pennsylvania and Ohio. People started chanting "O-HI-O" and "Yes We Can."

Then all hell broke lose when they called Virginia. They called it on CNN right before the west coast states, which were pretty much guaranteed Obama. When Virginia went to Obama, the roar was deafening-- I literally couldn't hear myself scream. Everyone got to their feet, and started hugging each other and crying. Then right at 11, when the polls closed on the west coast, the projection screen said "Barack Obama Elected President." It was insane. I was shaking, and a bunch of people nearby me were crying. People were standing on their chairs, chanting "O-BAM-A" and "YES WE CAN" and "USA."

The people I was with wanted to go watch the speech in a slightly calmer setting, so we headed out and back to our building. Along the way, people on the street were screaming and cheering, and strangers were hugging eachother and high-fiving eachother. As one guy I was with said as he high-fived a few strangers, "I don't know you, but I know why you're happy!" After a few minutes in the building, we could hear the chanting, cheering, screaming, and horn-honking from out on the quad, so we decided to go join them. There was a mob of people on one of the quads-- people ahd rushed hte picnic tables, and were on top of them shouting. The guys had taken their shirts off and were waving them around in the air, haha. A few Public Safety officers were trying to keep the crowd controlled.

I know a bunch of people went down to the White House after that. I didn't, but my roommate did, and she said it was insane. I know U St., a historically black cultural neighborhood in DC, was shut down because so many people had flooded the streets, celebrating, and horns were honking all over the city. The celebration on campus didn't end until after 1:30, when I finally went to bed-- I could still hear it going on.

It was just so incredible--the energy, the excitement, the joy was so overwhelming. I think everyone realized hte history of hte moment. We were all saying, "People will be talking about this night for centuries. Everyone will always remember where they were when Obama was elected president."
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwen G wrote:
Oh Xina, thank you for the Alice Walker piece. She has always been one of my favorite people on the planet. I've always thought of her as an old soul with much spiritual wisdom. I just took down from the shelf my old, yellowing copy of her essays "In Search Of My Mother's Gardens". At one time in my life I read it over and over. I don't want to be sentimental but that book really did nourish my soul.

Wouldn't it be great if Obama could actually read Walker's letter?
I wonder which poet he'll pick to speak at his inaugeration?

you know - my hope is that Obama can lift up this nation and our people can be united. I hope it doesn't sound too corny but this election makes me want to be a better person and do something good with my life. Even if its only in a small way.




Yes, it's a great letter. I think it's very moving. I too hope that Obama can lift up the nation and by the looks of things last night, he already has. I guess we've proven that we can make a difference and that in itself is one step ahead.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jane G wrote:
A German news channel had been camped out on campus since yesterday, and they were doing a lot of filming and interviewing there.


I'm pretty sure the interviews you're referring to were included in the election coverage I watched yesterday.

Anyway, it was great seeing so many happy and celebrating people in the US and elsewhere.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, really? Were they at American University? I didn't talk to them, but I saw a bunch of students crowding around a sign, that had German writing on it-- my friends and I speculated it was a translation of one of Obama's campaign slogans.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it was American University, though oddly enough I am not sure which TV channel it was, because I switched around quite a bit.

They said that it was the "most political university in the US" (which is why I cottoned onto your statement) and interviewed a couple of students supporting Obama. Apparently, they had real problems locating a McCain supporter and the one they finally found was a terrible preppie cliché with a Sarah Palin hairdo.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my gosh, that just made me laugh. Yeah, there were not many McCain supporters there that night... though I'm surprised they didn't see the one rogue McCain supporter, running around with a huge sign and a McCain/Palin bumpersticker on his face.

The "most political university" thing stems from Princeton Review, which ranks colleges on all sorts of things--cafeteria, how many people smoke, hte dorms, the teachers, the amount of Greek life, etc.--and one of their categories is "Most Politically Active Campus." We were ranked #1 for a few years, then last year dropped down to number 3, I think, but then got back to number 1 this year.
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Gwen G



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 381
Location: Brooklyn, New York

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is a really obscure request but I thought I'd give it a try.

There is an Alice Walker essay I always loved but I can't remember the collection it comes from. It was about our relationship with Nature and included stories about her friendship with two Horses that lived near her home in California. She also talked about the wisdom and beauty of some very old Trees near her home. Does anyone recognize this essay and the title of the collection of essays it comes from?
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