KITWANA: Election Quotes From Notable Intellectuals

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HARTFORD, CT

“I wanted to dwell over the line I drew to help the electronic scanner read my vote for Obama. That black line burst not only with history, but mainly for what it will mean for us: an opportunity to build a new kind of covenant within America and between America and the world. Today was the day when the ‘still small voice’ vibrated, allowing the heart to pant, life to glow, and struggles to envelop us, not saying ‘no’ alone but also ‘this way forward.’
-Vijay Prashad, Director of International Studies at Trinity College and author of The Darker Nations: A Peoples History of The Third World

KINGSTON, NY
“I was really anxious yesterday until I spoke to my Mom and little brother. My brother reminded me that no matter what happens tonight we’ve already won when you consider that black people couldn’t vote 50 years ago. My Mom advised me to tune out the polls, the media, and the emails and feel the spirit of this time we’re in.

‘When have you ever known a candidate to be internationally lifted up by so much goodwill and prayer, she asked. Stopped thinking of this as an election, and see it for the movement of sheer will and Spirit it is.’

I took my son and a picture of my deceased Dad in the booth with me today when my son and I pulled the lever. We wanted to share the glory of this day with our Ancestors so humbled and grateful, am I for the sacrifices they’ve made to bring us here. And that, my brother, is where I am. The curry goat deh a fire. The champagne is chilling in the fridge. I am confident, grateful and peaceful. Congratulations Barack Hussein Obama. Let the work and the healing begin.”
-Joan Morgan
Journalist and author of When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost

MILWAUKEE, WI
“Today I traveled from my solidly blue Illinois to the nearby swing state (and my native state) of Wisconsin to work the Obama campaign’s Get Out the Vote effort. After having spent the last few weekends canvassing in less than sympathetic white suburbs of Milwaukee, I was thrilled today to instead be in the city’s black neighborhoods where I grew up. We hit the block of my high school sweetheart’s house, over to the park where I learned how to swim, and up to the North Lawn projects-where a passing woman asked ‘Is your name Mary’ and we realized we had gone to high school together. Tiffany was on her way to vote. Today, I felt like after months of fooling with the ‘undecided’ voters, it was OUR turn to bring it on home and we were bringing our A-game. Passing the long lines of black folks at polling places and the vans full of volunteers fanning out to bring more people to vote, and chatting it up with a man sporting his ‘I voted today’ sticker while drinking his morning beer, I thought of one of Obama’s stump lines and smiled: We are the people we’ve been waiting for!”
-Mary Pattillo, author of Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City and Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University

SAN JOSE, CA
“By all account’s what we are witnessing today is a historic turn in all of American history. While one should never make predictions in politics, by all accounts it looks like the people are speaking primarily on Barack Obama‘s behalf and, in particular youth and people of color. After today, in many ways we will live in a different America and in many ways our struggles will remain the same, if not more intense. It’s a sight to behold, and it is powerful contemplating the possibilities of such a new future with such a chaotic and unknowable backdrop helping to direct the course: the economy, the war, global warming, health care and a slew of other critical issues confronting our country and a new administration, party and president to confront them.”
-Shamako Noble aka The Sword of the West, Executive Director-Hip Hop Congress

ATLANTA, GA
“It’s a crisp, perfect fall night in Atlanta and you can feel that current of excitement. I just drove past the King Center. The streets are choked with traffic, helicopters buzz overhead and people are jammed along the sidewalks waiting for word of the returns. It reminds me of watch parties Black people held on the eve of emancipation. The polls close here in six minutes and all the talk is of projections and returns. Across town a security guard was struggling to maintain order at one of the dozens of watch parties in the commercial district. I asked him if he thought he’d live to see this. ‘I never contemplated it,’ he told me. ‘But it’s going to happen because they can’t stop that brother now.'”
-Jelani Cobb, author of The Devil and Dave Chappelle and Professor of History at Spelman College

CLEVELAND, OH

“I left my state of Texas to help Ohio for we all know what happen in 2004 and can afford to allow that to happen again in this great state. It is too historic to miss this opportunity. We need Ohio; America needs Ohio to put the Senator Obama in the White House to Change America for the better.”
-Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, to those in line waiting to go in to early vote Sunday night outside from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland,
Ohio.

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