Yes You Can!

    4 November 2008, terribly early in the morning

Americans will start voting today. I will sit and watch. I’m hoping there is going to be record turn out, that young people and minorities actually get off their asses and vote, and that at the end of the day a black dude who grew up in Kenya is the new President of the United States of America. I won’t lie: I’ll probably still think America is a piece of shit evil-ass country. That won’t change the fact that Americans electing a black dude to run their country is anything short of amazing.

Then they all gathered around Sonny and Sonny played. Every now and again one of them seemed to say, amen. Sonny’s fingers filled the air with life, his life. But that life contained so many others. And Sonny went all the way back, he really began with the spare, flat statement of the opening phrase of the song. Then he began to make it his. It was very beautiful because it wasn’t hurried and it was no longer a lament. I seemed to hear with what burning he had made it his, and what burning we had yet to make it ours, how we could cease lamenting. Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen, that he would never be free until we did. Yet, there was no battle in his face now, I heard what he had gone through, and would continue to go through until he came to rest in earth. He had made it his: that long line, of which we knew only Mama and Daddy. And he was giving it back, as everything must be given back, so that, passing through death, it can live forever. I saw my mother’s face again, and felt, for the first time, how the stones of the road she had walked on must have bruised her feet. I saw the moonlit road where my father’s brother died. And it brought something else back to me, and carried me past it, I saw my little girl again and felt Isabel’s tears again, and I felt my own tears begin to rise. And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky. — James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues.

Any Americans reading this: vote. For the love of god, vote.

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Comments

  1. A guy who grew up in Kenya is running for President? Is he a third-party candidate?

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