I listened to Michelle Obama’s speech on the radio last night. Yes, I had to take it old school because I had to make an airport run. There’s nothing like listening to a speech on the radio, especially a speech of this magnitude. There I was driving down the highway and envisaging Michelle’s outfit, her hair & make-up, her gestures, the venue, the colors, the audience’s reactions. I depended solely on the cadence of her voice and my imagination to tell the story that was unfolding, the history that was being made.
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I heard her speak of her father with respect, Barack with love, and her country with pride. I heard thunderous applause when Michelle spoke Hillary Clinton’s name and said Clinton had shattered 18 million glass ceilings. There was more thunderous applause when Michelle declared that she is proud to be an American. The speech was everything it was supposed to be: a loving and supportive wife presenting her husband to the nation, a professional woman diligently working to shed the angry black woman image, and reaffirmation in the reality of the American Dream.
I could feel the energy of the audience, pulsating throughout and beyond the venue, into the veins of everyone watching and listening. Michelle’s words were beautiful, moving and honest. And I figured that plenty of tears had been shed by people of all races and colors. Turns out I was right. My girlfriend called after the speech and said, “I was crying right along with the other women in the audience. Barack took Michelle out for ice cream. Black love does exist.” Yes, Michelle’s words touched different nerves for different reasons. My mother started crying when Michelle described Barack driving their daughter home from the hospital and promising to give her a father’s love he never had. My grandmother already had her tissues at the ready because after 82 years of being on this earth, of being jailed for fighting for civil rights, this moment was finally happening.
Michelle’s words were just the start of what will emerge from this convention. It felt like the audience was literally on the edge of its seats, holding its breath, waiting for more, pleading for more, desperate for more. More hope, more change, more unity, more peace, more, more, more of something else, anything else that is different from what we’ve had for the past eight years. That’s definitely an understandable feeling. Let’s just hope this momentum continues through November. Hopefully the best is yet to come.
Diana Veiga blogs at http://5andapossible.blogspot.com