Obama Rally Is Empowering Experience

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[Election 2008: Personal Account]

I have read about so many great people and Sen. Barack Obama is certainly one of them.

Right before our eyes, he’s making a history many of us could not imagine some months ago was possible. When I heard about his rally not far from where I live recently, I deemed it necessary to attend. I wanted to see this living legend with my own eyes. His uplifting story is worth telling my children and grandchildren to come.
Will he be the next president? I am praying and hoping for that. But before then, I thought it was good to see him at one of those rallies. I have seen his pictures in newspapers and magazines as well as on TV. I have read his books. Seeing him in person was the next step. 

He was scheduled to make appearances at four different rallies in the City of Brotherly Love on October 11. The one at 52nd and Locust streets was closest to me and I didn't want to miss it. I had received emails informing me about the event two days earlier. I shared the emails with folks on two of my community listserves.

The emails said the gate would open at 11:00 am and the candidate would be arriving at 1.10 pm. A day before, I planned to arrive early so I would be able to see Sen. Barack Obama up-close. As I shared the email with friends who I thought might be interested in coming to the rally, I certainly planned to be there on time to see the man whom I am praying and hoping by January 2009 would be inaugurated as the next president of the USA; indeed the most powerful man in the world.
Sometime when you plan your day some unfortunate circumstance can interfere. Because of this, I could not leave soon enough to go to the rally. When I finally got there, I could see the sea of people that had already gathered to see Obama.

I drove up to 53rd Street and Locust where the police had sealed off the area with a "Do Not Cross" duct tape. I drove around but could not find any parking spot. The nearest place I could find to park was five blocks up at 58th and Locust. I parked the car and walked towards the 53rd. I was among the massive crowd that had gathered there.

Fortunately, the Obama convoy came down on 53rd street, passed us and made a left turn on Locust towards 52nd. I saw him up close through the car window. I also saw Mayor Nutter in another vehicle following Sen. Obama.

Since the police wouldn't allow anyone to follow the convoy, I had to walk around to find my way to 52nd Street by way of Spruce Street. I pulled and shoved through the massive crowd hoping to reach a close distance to the candidate. I went as far as I could; I could see him but I was not close enough. At least I could see him in the distance talking; the fired up crowd was just roaring with approval after every word Sen. Obama spoke.

There were many people, Black, White, all races, but since this particular rally was being held in the predominantly Black neighborhood of South West Philly, the majority of the people were Black. There was an exciting feeling of pride in the air that one of their own had come this far.

No Black person has come this far before. Barack Obama being the first, has fired up Black people everywhere; even in Africa. You could see this sense of pride in the faces in the crowd.

Obama said many things but some of the words have stayed with me since then. Among them he said that he wasn’t “born in wealth." He credited many people, those who struggled before him, and praised his mother who gave him love, made sure he got education and said that "everybody has a story like that to tell."

He urged the people to “stand up for justice, education, and freedom." He said the American Dream is being tested by his candidacy and promised that change is under way. He went on further to say, "That's the story of America. Each successive generation working hard. I'm here because somebody somewhere stood up for me. And because they stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousands stood up. And then a few million stood up. And because they stood up, America became a place where dreams were realized.”

As I made my way through the crowd to come back home, I felt much more energized, inspired, and lucky to be a witness to this great historic moment in America. Being at an Obama rally felt much more positive as compared to the hate fest John McCain’s rallies have become lately.

For the whole time I was at the Obama rally, I was basking in the glory of positive energy. Even when Obama had some words of praises for McCain for telling his angry supporters that Obama was a “decent man” who he just happens to disagree with, no one booed him.

Here was more like a celebration of peace, love and harmony. What was a bit of a surprise to me is seeing an African-American female Moslem dressed in her Islamic garment with hijab dancing with two white guys. That image stayed with me. I couldn’t stop thinking that Obamamania has made them to overlook their skin colors and religions.

What they have in common is the fact that they all have been inspired by the uplifting message of one man, Barack Obama. What a great moment in the American history. I can’t wait to cast my vote on November 4 and wait for the result.

Just like millions of people in the US and everywhere in the world, I am praying and hoping for an Obama Victory.


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