That Beloved Community

November 4th, 2008

Email This Blog Post Email This Blog Post Filed under: New Village Commons— Lynne Elizabeth @ 11:28 pm

From the man with the pink box bringing doughnuts for everyone lined at the polls this morning to John McCain shushing boos during his beautifully unifying concession speech tonight, I have been moved today by the warmth of people. Here in Oakland I could hear the election results before finding them on my news screen by the crescendo of horns in the street. Three hours later, 11:00 pm in California, the excitement has not waned. I walked out earlier to experience the celebration on Telegraph Avenue and was joined by an African American couple clearly as jubilant as I. We introduce ourselves on the way back — turns out they live in the apartments next door! An American moment. Another neighbor comes by. We put stars in our hair, run back to the same corner and light sparklers. Great waves of honking rises at every stop light. Dancers on the sidewalks hoop, skateboarders flash peace signs, bicylists ring their bells, even buses beep. Obama 08 glistens wet on the favorite neighborhood tagging wall. I’m grateful to be witnessing this fearless wave of joy for a better day, for working together, for building that beloved community that Martin Luther King (Sr. and Jr.) and Howard Thurman before them held so dearly. Yes we can!!

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2 Responses to “That Beloved Community”

  1. Lynne, I can see you with stars in your hair! For once I wished I lived in a city again to hear my neighbors celebrating. Out here at Frog Pond Farm, all we heard were the frogs. But this morning I got an e-mail from Michael Moore, who, of course, was jubilant — and he wanted to talk about artists! “We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media asking me, “gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is gone?” Are they kidding? What will it be like to work and create in an environment that nurtures and supports film and the arts, science and invention, and the freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand flowers bloom! We’ve entered a new era, and if I could sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it is this: Anything Is Possible.”

    Comment by Linda Burnham — November 5, 2008 @ 6:56 am

  2. Linda,

    Yes! A new era! Yes, Michael Moore taking this up with his delicious wit!

    Standing with Karen and our new interns yesterday by the proverbial watercooler, which in our office happens to be my kitchen, we shared visions for exactly that. Nations being in the business of exchanging culture; prisons converted to centers for rehabilitation with job training, drug counseling, mental health services, art (!); the military fixing bridges, repairing what the WPA built and adding new, helping where service is needed, a place where young people could grow through Eagle-Scout like training and camaraderie they may have missed in their own home town. And, yes, we imagined new variations of the WPA and CETA, and VISTA/AmeriCorps — all those creative community service groups.

    As Keith Knight would say, Whoohoo!!

    Comment by Lynne Elizabeth — November 5, 2008 @ 9:39 am

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