Dreams Do Come True…Yes, We Can!

Hello World!!!

Obviously, the news of the day, maybe even the century, is that Senator Barack Obama is now President-Elect Barack Obama…I can scarcely take it in…Thankfully, I don’t expect that anyone will be calling me at 3 a.m. tonight as I am blogging away and unprepared to think about anything except for the magnitude of this moment! (Get it? Let me know.)

I, like many other Atlantans, felt the urge to usher in this historical occasion at church, specifically Ebenezer Baptist Church, the home church of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I wanted to ponder the dream and the dreamer!

So because it is late, and I actually do have to do some work tomorrrow, I will attempt to share some of the memorable moments of the election prayer rally.  Again, this is not a journalistic masterpiece, just some snippets that I happened to write down. (Be nice:)

Like any good service, the choir ignited the crowd by singing songs well known in the black church including, “Victory is Mine,” “This is the Day That the Lord has Made,” and “He Has Made Me Glad.” After the therapeutic praise session, Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer said to all of us, “Why of all the places we can be tonight, why would we be in church?  Because we know how we got here. We’ve come this far by faith! We’ve come tonight to thank God for this moment, to thank our ancestors for this moment, to thank God for the life and memory…of Rev. Martin Luther King.” Warnock invoked the names of Fannie Lou Hamer, Schwerner, Chaney & Goodman and John Lewis. Finally, he said that we’ve gone from “Bloody Sunday to Triumphant Tuesday!”

Throughout the night, spontaneous chants of “Yes, We Can!” threatened to stop and did stop many of the speeches from the pulpit.

Rev. Al Sharpton asked Martin Luther King III and Bernice King to come to the pulpit as he spoke in an effort to “honor our mother and father so that our days will be long.” He referenced Mrs. Coretta Scott King and Dr. King as a mother and father in the Civil Rights Movement, and said their work made it possible for Obama to be judged by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. He led the crowd in a rendition of “Amen” – you know that song when the soloist says something like “Amen. Let the church say…” And the crowd responds “Amen.” One of his verses of was “Yes, We can y’all.” Finally, he said, “We started at the outhouse and now we going to the White House.” (Let the church say, “Amen!”)

John Lewis relieved some moments from the Selma to Montgomery march, but one of those spontaneous chants interrupted him. Oh yeah, let me not forget that two humungous screen TVs were set up at the front of the church for everyone to watch the results on CNN.

Bernice King shared a now remarkable memory with the audience. She recalled a conversation she had with her mother following the Democratic National Convention at which Obama was first introduced to the country. Mrs. King told her daughter via phone, “I think we’ve got somebody.”

Bishop Eddie Long said we “wouldn’t have jack” without the Civil Rights Movement. (He was referencing the ‘palatial palace’ that is the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church campus.)

Judge Greg Mathis, who got more applause than some of the pastors, said Obama’s greatest victory in the whole change campaign was the change he inspired “in the hearts and minds of those who once oppressed us.” “We must now do our part by dropping our guns and picking up our books and joining the movement of justice.” He asked the sisters to “demand respect” from men, and he asked the men to “Stand Up, Man Up or Shut Up.” (I didn’t say it. He did.) He said that he could say that because he has street cred. If I heard him correctly, he said he was once in jail and 15 years after leaving jail, he became the youngest judge in the country.

I must have heard that song, “Never Would Have Made It,” at least three times during the night. Me and the funny man sitting next to me don’t care if we hear that song again for at least a few days, ha,ha! He would probably say longer, but I like the song actually.

Byron Cage sang “The Presence of the Lord is Here.” It was like a rock concert with black people.

Dorothy Norwood said she sang a remix of “Victory is Mine” just for Obama. Someone from the crowd yelled “REMIX” like they were Puffy (P. Diddy or Diddy or whatever he calls himself now) or something as she started to sing. Can y’all believe that Dorothy Norwood said, “Remix?” She said the new version is in stores as of today.

When CNN reporters announced that Obama won the election, I alternated between jumping up and down like I was on “The Price is Right” and falling to my knees. Consequently, I stopped taking notes.

Other dignitaries at the rally included: Dottie Peoples, Deanna Brown (daughter of James Brown), SCLC officials, Andrew Young, Rev. Joseph Lowery and Christine Farris (Dr.King’s sister). Rev. Warnock said Jennifer Holiday would be performing later in the evening, but that did not happen by the end of the rally.

America’s first black president… “my soul looks back in wonder…”

Any thoughts?


~ by jackieholness on November 5, 2008.

13 Responses to “Dreams Do Come True…Yes, We Can!”

  1. I’m exhausted, thrilled, overwhelmed, and oh so proud. Glad you got to go to Ebenezer. This is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

    As soon as I can get enough caffeine in my system and get my butt in gear, I’m going out to buy a copy of every newspaper on the stand!

  2. I’m dazed with amazement…I can’t wait to see what kind of change will truly take place. I believe we’ve got some good days and some hard ones ahead of us.

  3. I’m still amazed at the accomplishment of Presidetn-Elect Obama. He has ignited a change that no other President since President Kennedy has done. As I sit at work (trying to get some work done) all I can think of are the challenges that first President Kennedy gave, “Ask not what my country can do for me, but what I can do for my country” and secondly what President-Elect Obama has charged us to do, “Get involved, I can’t do it alone but together we can”. So what does that mean to me… mainly we have to step up as a country and put aside our race differences, political differences, and other social differences and come together and do what is right for the United States of America. So I sit here pondering … “What can and will I do to help bring about the change?”……

  4. I saw the CNN coverage of the celebration at Ebenezer Baptist Church and elsewhere in Atlanta and thought of you… thanks for calling me back. : ) What an amazing night!!! This is history being made.

  5. @Lance, I too an pondering, “Whaat can I do and will do bring about the change?” And thanks for your comment!

    @Tess, No prob, girl!

    @Denise,Yeah I need to buy some newspapers and mags!

    @Damola, yes, we have some good but challenging days ahead, but God is good!

  6. This is such an amazing moment in history. It has been great today to exchange smiles with complete strangers and know why they are smiling.

  7. I am so elated. We were at Sugar Hill last night. As the screen read “BREAKING NEWS: PRESIDENT ELECT – BARACK OBAMA” I feel to my knees as I understood that this was a historic occasion. I called my parents. They were 2nd in line yesteday in PA at 6:30am to vote. My mother couldn’t contain her joy. She said she woke up with swollen eyes as we both wish the foundation of our family, my grandmother, was alive to see this momentus occasion.

    Barack has charged us to be better citizens. My task is to remain accountable for the actions I take and to ensure that I stay active in my community as we are only as strong as the weakest person in our “village”.

    I applaud the Obamas and wish them well!

  8. Looking back at this country’s history, I always hear about all of these pivotal occasions and dream about what it would have been like to have been alive at that moment. Occasions like the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, Jackie Robinson breaking the “color barrier”, maybe the Moon Landing.
    I know now what it feels like!

  9. Great pix by the way

  10. @Dkwatts – Yes, it is good to have witnessed this most blessed event in history! I cannot fathom what it would have been like to have experienced the Emancipation Proclamation…and other great events in history. And thanks for the comments about the pix!

  11. Wow, I kinda wish I’d been at Ebenezer that night. It sounds like it was powerful.

    Too much wonder; too much joy.

    It’s a wonderful time, is it not?


  12. @Soul Daddy,

    Yes it is, Yes it is!

  13. It must have been an awesome night in the church, Jackie. My memories of working at the school for black kids in SC in the late 60s’ and my anguish over Dr. King’s assassination are too lengthy to write about here, but I cried when I saw the actual news Wed. am from relief and gladness. Yes, what a change I have seen in my lifetime. Thank you, God.

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