As many of you know, I volunteered in Philadelphia for the Barack Obama presidential campaign this past Fall. The experience inspired me in a way I never believed electoral politics could. If any of you spent any time on the Campaign for Change, you know what I'm talking about: the overwhelming excitement, the palpable sense that we were all coming together to work toward something greater than ourselves, and the sincere hope that with enough hard work and good will we might heal our broken nation and realize the promises we had seen broken over the last eight years. I remember thinking, "This is how democracy works! Ordinary folks getting out there and talking to their neighbors, saying, 'Let's talk about what we want to see in our community!'"
Our hard work paid off. And that night, as I watched on television as Barack walked out onto the stage in Grant Park, it hit me: "We just elected a black man to be President of the United States." Up to that moment, I had never really taken the time to think about what that would mean. In the days that followed, I have been wrestling with that question: What does this mean? How is this going to change the way we look at and talk about race in this country? Now that we've broken this seemingly insurmountable barrier, where do we go from here?
We feel that these are essential questions that all must be asking ourselves as Americans right now and we look forward to putting them to any and every American that will talk to us when we take off in just four short days. Several people have already begun sending us their own stories and reflections via email, which has been greatly appreciated.
We have also received an incredible outpouring of support from our friends and family for the project in the way of donations, offers for lodging, and interview connections, for which we are extremely grateful. Your kindness and enthusiasm has been an inspiration to us these last few days as we have scrambled to make our final preparations.
We are, of course, still collecting donations and still looking for interviewees along the route, so in case you haven't heard from us (...yet...) please take a look at Godfrey's post below, which outlines more completely what we're looking to do with this thing and what we'll need to do it. We'll be posting a more comprehensive route in the next couple days before we head out, and soon after that we'll start throwing up interview selections, so stay on the lookout!
Thanks again for everything! And happy holidays!