By now we have all seen the touching image of Jesse Jackson, in tears, as Obama gave his victory speech late Tuesday night.
The image, in my mind, has come to signify what millions and millions of us were experiencing as we learned that Barack Obama would be our 44th president.
I cannot look at the picture without experiencing chills, goosebumps… and more often than not, I wind up shedding a tear or two myself.
Many people, especially my generation, are not huge fans of Jesse Jackson… and while it is true he has become an extremely polarizing figure in the last 20 years, it is also true that his devotion to civil rights is unmatched.
Jackson has not simply witnessed the transformation this country has undergone, he has been actively involved in it, every step of the way.
He again speaks for many.
Well, on the one hand, I saw President Barack Obama standing there looking so majestic. And I knew that people in the villages of Kenya and Haiti, and mansions and palaces in Europe and China, were all watching this young African-American male assume the leadership to take our nation out of a pit to a higher place.
And then, I thought of who was not there… As mentioned, Medgar Evers, the husband of Sister Myrlie… the martyrs and murdered whose blood made last night possible. I could not help think that this was their night.
And if I had one wish: if Medgar, or if Dr. King could have just been there for a second in time, would have made my heart rejoice. And so it was kind of duo-fold – his ascension into leadership and the price that was paid to get him there.
There is nothing more to add.
Jackson has said it all.