It was the biggest event in our lifetimes: the night America elected its first Black President, Barack Obama.
It took hundreds of years of struggles, protests, votes, sacrifices and so much more but it finally happened. Blood was lost, lives were taken, freedom denied. But it happened.
Most people assumed it could happen, and eventually would happen–but few thought it would be possible in their own lifetimes.
That cool night in November 2008, people cheered, they laughed, they hugged and they cried. Complete strangers embraced as if they were family. And for one night, they were.
And no matter what side of the political fence you leaned on, you cannot forget where you were when it was announced that Barack Obama had WON.
In that one night, a sense of renewed hope was felt across America. There was hope that America had finally begun to change and live up to its promise of equality.
Of course, not everybody was celebrating. But for millions of Americans–particularly people of color–this was a celebration like no other. And it was ours.
From a national level, it was as if some of America’s ugliest racial transgressions were wiped clean, in just one election. And the hope that so many of us felt made it feel as if some of the country’s worst racial instincts were put on pause.
It was historic. It was hopeful. It was a new beginning.
These days, its hard to point to what that election really changed. The truckload of change so many of us had hoped and prayed for didn’t end up being fully delivered.
Its even more depressing when you look at what we have to look at in 2017. It almost seems like we’re living in a parallel universe: did we really catapult from the election of 2008 to what occurred in 2016 in just 8 years?
Its kinda shocking when you think about it.
Regardless, at least we can look back on that one night in 2008 and remember when, for one moment in our history, everything was OK.