As we move closer to 11/3, I know many of us are struggling with anxiety. We don’t know what’s going to happen, how we will wake up feeling on Nov 4th. But when I get too anxious about an unpredictable future, I try instead to look back.
Today I marvel over the cruelty that for so long Black civilians were systematically and specifically denied the right to participate. I’m grateful to every Black American, known and unknown, who went to the polls even when they knew they’d be denied.
Often traveling long distances. Enduring discrimination or humiliation on the way. Only to arrive and have to take tests, be told to provide money they didn’t have, watch as white people cast their vote... and they knew that’s what would happen. They knew and they went anyway.
This year, we have battles have been waged in courts challenging voter suppression. Poll people are being trained on recognizing and responding to voter intimidation. Hours long waits have been normalized for Black people. We’ve had to strategically plan how to vote.
We don’t endure the same levels of discrimination that our ancestors did. But we do stand in their legacy, going to the polls, knowing that there are real hurdles we have to face. We know and we go anyway. Because sometimes hope isn’t what we feel, it’s what we do. We embody hope.
As we all inch our way toward yet another significant moment in 2020, I can’t promise the anxiety will go away. I don’t have a sneak peek into 2020’s season finale. All I have is a hope that can be practiced. May you have the energy, clarity and inspiration to practice hope too.