I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

it's been a long time coming

After Decades, A Time To Reap (New York Times)

I have family from Georgia who always felt very strongly about civil rights throughout the years when that was a potentially dangerous stance to hold. I was blessed with a wonderfully strong and graceful Grammy who relentlessly worked in her neighborhood, in her small and quiet ways, to stand up for what is right. What happened yesterday has been a long time coming, and this article above blew my mind. Young people forget that within the last 50 years, black people lacked the ability to freely vote, and people were killed in this country for trying to register black voters.

Last night, I smiled when Obama referenced this Sam Cooke song in his victory speech; this version from Otis Redding is one of my favorites:

A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover) - Otis Redding


Related:
-WFMU played 14 versions of this song yesterday in an hour of radness.
-Retrospective of essential protest songs

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12 Comments:

At November 05, 2008 12:22 PM, Blogger Angora Holly Polo said...

I might cry. I'm serious. What an amazing time to be part of history!

 
At November 05, 2008 12:36 PM, Blogger Tim said...

It's difficult to put today's feelings into words. What an amazing moment for our country. I put Redding's version up last night, too. Off to check out the WMFU link - thanks!

 
At November 05, 2008 12:51 PM, Blogger JC said...

Hey Heather!! Crazy musical wavelengths we must be operating on... I think I read your blog too much! Yesterday I sent out a short mixtape that I had made on Mixwit.com to all the (fellow) Obama supporters I knew and the leadoff was Otis' version of "Change is Gonna Come" as well as a few other gems that I thought were befitting of the moment.

Now I pass it along to you... Enjoy and be happy today. We have good reason to be.

http://www.mixwit.com/jcunningham314

 
At November 05, 2008 1:51 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

Hoping for a lot of good changes.

And it's a great song!

 
At November 05, 2008 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this country, we so often focus on our problems, not our successes. Not many other countries could show such a fast progression in civil rights in so short of a time. We are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But still, compared to so many other places, we are doing pretty well.

 
At November 05, 2008 7:43 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

I was sobbing during this part of the speech, thinking about how far the civil rights movement has come and imagining how it must be to see all our nation has accomplished:

"This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin. And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can. At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can. When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment."

 
At November 05, 2008 11:44 PM, Blogger Catfish Vegas said...

Heather,
Here's another great version of that song, recorded this summer at the Club Congress in Tucson during a special acoustic performance by Chango Malo:
http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/2/9/1748619/12%20A%20Change%20Is%20Gonna%20Come.mp3
And here's my preview of the show: http://catfishvegas.blogspot.com/2008/05/chango-malos-acoustic-farewell-to-don.html

 
At November 06, 2008 2:13 AM, Blogger Gabe said...

Amazing, moving, words can not express nearly as well as music can. Easily one of my favorite songs of all time.

I saw Ray Lamontagne and Leona Ness in Portland, OR tonight...3rd time seeing Ray. Simply amazing. He spoke more than I've ever seen him speak before. For his 2nd encore he sang "Imagine", it was magical. Thanks for the post and positive reminders about what this country can do right.

 
At November 06, 2008 4:34 PM, Blogger vantika said...

Yeah, I'm crying too.

Redistrubution of wealth. Veritable changes to the Constitution. Draconian gun laws. Etc, etc.

O, how the mighty have fallen.

 
At November 06, 2008 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vantika: you're an idiot.

 
At November 11, 2008 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a historic election I will give you that. Too bad the first black president has to be a radical marxist. Vantika is the only one who gets it

 
At November 18, 2008 6:53 PM, Blogger Maloney said...

Great Sam Cooke song. But just as the color of a man's skin should not deny him the office of the President, it does not entitle hime to it. And while the election of Obama does speak to the leaps we've made as they pertain to race relations, it does nothing to convince me of his qualifications for such an office. For some reason Obama has managed to turn for his supporters believing into seeing, words into the equivalent of actions.

 

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