Proud to be an American

“Javacia is so proud to be an American.” That’s what my Facebook status says today.

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or neither, you have to admit that Barack Obama being elected the president of the United States of America signals that our country is actually progressing in relation to issues of race.

But the reason I’m so proud today is because so many people were so enthusiastic about this election. People of all ages, backgrounds, races and political affiliations were determined to be heard. My little brother was so excited that he called me to sit on the phone with me last night as we watched the results roll in.

I stood in line for nearly an hour to vote and didn’t mind one bit. I woke up yesterday morning feeling like a kid on Christmas day. I had chills while I was waiting in line knowing I was about to participate in such a historic election because regardless of who won the fact that a black man and a woman were in this race made it a special day.

But the excitement I felt then didn’t compare to what I felt as I started to hear stories of people turning out in record numbers to vote. Some folks lined up at polls at 5:30 a.m. Some waited in line for two hours. My usually apathetic friends were sending mass text messages encouraging people to vote.

I wish my grandmother was alive to see the enthusiasm that this country — specifically the young black people in this country — had yesterday. She was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement and always stressed to me how important it was that I exercise my right to vote once I had a chance to do so.

When I was a little girl I could hardly wait for the day that I could head out to the polls and leave sporting a sticker that declared “I voted.” In my family voting has always been a big deal and my parents made it a family affair. My mom would always go to the polls either with my grandmother, my dad or both and she always brought me along. I grew up understanding that voting was a right my ancestors had to fight for and one I should never take for granted. And I never will.



  1. That’s great you grew up knowing the importance of voting. I was around 24 the first time I voted. And it was my first time ever being at the polls. My family was never into it and therefore neither was I. Its sad but at my now mature age of 68 I do understand its importance. I just hate it took me so long to get it.

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