It was just a sunny day in Brooklyn. The weather said it would be unusually warm, and a few of my girlfriends decided it was the perfect weekend to finally do that stoop sale we had been discussing for so very long. I started to hang things on racks, line shoes up, and customers and readers started showing up. From then on, the morning was this magical blur. I was talking to a customer and my friend came, I heard banging in the distance. Then more shouting. Then more banging. Soon, people started to hang out of their windows and all of the sudden, the sidewalk swelled up. “He won.” she said, and there was screaming and jumping, and everyone started looking at their phone. I forgot about the stoop sale and customers with hanging dollar bills in their hands. They forgot about me too, as they started to call what I assume was their family. Another friend started to cry and then it hit. That thing. That deep and sudden exhale and relief. It hit so hard I started to weep. I know that kind of cry, it’s a funeral cry. A grief cry. And it was finally able to exit my body.
My friend held me, as she has done the last four years. Another friend came and questioned what was happening and I gave her a thumbs up and a nod. She walked to me with a… “Wait, really?” curiosity. And I shook my head back and walked to her with a “Yes, really” reassurance. We embraced and cried together. Released together.
The city erupted some more and the kids came back to me with their dad to celebrate together. We danced and I tried to explain it to them swiftly. We fistbumped and hugged and everyone’s phone was off the hook. It felt like the first five minutes of a new year. The kind full of sorrow, joy, naivety and wonder for what’s ahead.
Except, we weren’t naive. We knew what we were saying so long to and what lies ahead. And that was the first time in four years that that knowing entered a political and leadership space.
The banging pots continued on and folks pulled speakers out of their basements. Black people did the electric slide and cars honked so very loud. Everytime it would quiet, another car would zoom on through honking, then another. It was dominos. The business too. And the streets were utterly flooded. Flooded! To be honest, it was the first time this year I think everyone was allowed to feel joy.
This morning I woke up thinking clearly about art. About the art of showing up and the art of making, and how there seems to be allowances for all of the sudden. That fast. I asked followers in my stories, and they agreed. An
It’s like an abandoned car was removed and tossed by a parking lot usually reserved for making and doing something.
Saturday’s stoop sale made $500 that was split equally between Fair Fight and WIN, two organizations that I love and support. That day, a few other big things happened that helped push a more progressive agenda; Florida passed a $15 minimum wage, The Working Families Party will consistently now be part of New York’s ballot, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona and New Jersey legalized marijuana, Colorado passed 12 weeks of paid family leave, Arizona increased taxes on the rich to fund education, Georgia turned blue for the first time in 28 years because of Stacey Abrams, Helen Butler, Nsé Ufot, Deborah Scott, Tamieka Atkins, and countless of other Black women voters who registered, voted and help carried not only the state for Biden, but the entire country for Americans. As we do.
The fight as always, continues. Because “Justice, has no timetable…”