Florida A&M University
(BLACK PRWIRE)(FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) - - November 4, 2008 shortly after 11 p.m. was for my great-grandparents Oscar and Roberta Copeland. As an Alabama sharecropper and a teacher at the local colored school, they sacrificed all that they had to instill the importance of education in the lives of their nine children. My grandmother recalled a time when her father stood up to the man that owned their land and said, "My children ain't going in the fields today. They goin' to school."
November 4, 2008 was for my grandfather Johnny Rogers, retired as a first sergeant from the United States Army after 30 years of service. He fought in the Vietnam War for the premise of democracy, while my grandmother, Doris Rogers, fought for the premise of freedom for everyone in America. It is with their courage and astute tenacity that they instilled a sense of pride in their children.
November 4, 2008 was for my mother Gwendolyn Key. She was a single mother, who often reintroduced my sister and I to her favorite red belt, but was at every basketball game, awards ceremony and school play. She even took on a second job to give us the better life she thought we deserved. It is because of her morals and undying love that my sister and I have become the young women we are today.
November 4, 2008 was for my children. Though I have not birthed any into the world yet, I hope to instill in them all the attributes that were poured into me. The audacity of hope, that despite palpable obstacles, a change will come. The element of courage, that despite the daily battles and challenges I faced, a change will come. Tenacity that despite the temptation to quit, a change will come. And the uplifting attitude, that gives me enough strength to keep building because a change will come.
On November 4, 2008 after the announcement was made, we shouted to the ceiling of heaven. We ran out onto Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. singing and dancing to "My President is Black." Without blue Lamborghinis, we chanted at the top of our lungs in our Toyotas and Chevrolets, "OBAMA, OBAMA." We cried because we thought that we would never see this dream that was deferred for so long fulfilled on MLK Blvd. or 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
On November 4, 2008 shortly after 11 p.m., I'm sure the universe was lifted in that moment.
As our shouts and tears fell to gravity, our hopes and aspirations lifted higher because of the prospect of opportunity. As we threw aside our differences, the 44th president-elect of the United States of America said, "Our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared." November 4, 2008 was for us all.