November 4th 2008

November 4th 2008, was a great date.
What was at stake?... Fate.
When most Black people had doubts of this,
A Black President of the United States now exists... 
Considering this country's past.
A past of shamelessly hating, enslaving, beating,
Defeating, lynching, hanging, raping, 
And discriminating Black people... my people.
But here in this same country, just a few decades later,
We have elected a Black man as president.
What's evident, is that this country seems to have
Undergone some changes.

What does this change mean?
Are we permitted to replay the same things?
And forget about Martin's dream?
Or is it time to realize our own?
Or is this change so small it doesn't mean we've grown?

See that night when we were all tuned in to the screen,
We were all thinking the same things.
Our minds intertwined, and we dined at the fact,
Of having a President who's Black.
I pulled out the champagne
Because I knew my candidate had the winning campaign,
And thought anyone who didn't vote for him was insane,
But that's not the point, let me get back in my lane.
As we awaited, and anticipated,
We prayed that this would happen, and it did!
They announced, "Barack Obama is elected President!"
The champaign cork popped,
And cheers couldn't be stopped.
They were heard from east to west, north to south, 
Out my mouth, and the whole world seemed to shout!
Tears rolled down the faces of people of different races.
Everyone seemed to be coming together,
Despite whether, they had differences.
Even fireworks were going off in array!
It felt like Independence Day,
Or New Years Eve,
When the ball dropped and everyone stopped to see.

But while we were celebrating,
There was another party hating, and stunned,
At the simple fact that Obama had won.
Yes, the storm was coming and you could hear it.
The thunder rolled on their party,
And lightening struck their spirits.
Anger grew deep and steep to the point where hate
Began to span their minds and hearts,
And those hateful darts and daggers, 
Tried to hurt Obama and his supporters for their 
Celebratory swaggers,
Which made these haters even madder.
Facebook statuses went ablaze, 
With people threatening to move away.
They even spread their smoky fumes,
Claiming that the country was doomed.

And what's absurd is the nerve
Of people uttering racial slurs.
My friend Bethany who's white,
Told me about her tragic experience 
On that glorious night.
To make things clear, it wasn't the moment she expected.
Her dad uttered the word "nigger" 
For the first time in her face.
It hit her like a trigger of a spray of mace,
Blinding her at a fast pace - it was bright,
She saw her dad in a new light.
She couldn't believe what her ears had to bear.
All she did was stare.

It's funny because my friends and I have met her dad,
And he seemed to be glad, 
While he smiled in our faces,
And talked to us like he wasn't even racist...
Such fakeness.

And when Obama won the election,
Immediately her dad hollered with aggression,
"I can't believe this nigger's in office!"
But at the same time, my homeboy cheered,
"I can't believe this nigga's in office!"
Or perhaps faultless.

So now with these two parties, 
We're left to judge this change.
Are these two opposing parties the same?
Is America still racist?
Is "nigger" still the basis?
Penetrating these times and our minds,
It shows signs of everlasting.
It's like we're fasting... change.

Our president ran on the basis of change and succeeded.
He was what this country and this world needed.
But what are we running off of? What's our campaign?
And how can the country claim it's changed, 
When its people remain the same?
I think about the late great Michael Jackson's
"Man in the Mirror."
The message couldn't be any clearer.
Inside is where this change will begin.
Because at this point the only change is our president,
Meaning the color of his skin.
But what about the change on the inside of us?
The color within.

November 4th 2008 was a great date.

By Michael Blevins
(Performed at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, GA, 
in the play Speakeasy, directed by Kenneth Green)

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