Last week, I wrote an article about my experiences as a volunteer for the Obama campaign in 2008. No need to rehash the article, you can read it here. However, yesterday, during a conversation with Niko House, a fellow former believer, it dawned upon me that the article I wrote last week—even though it was meant to channel the feelings of countless thousands of Obama believers—might not have achieved its objective for one reason. I used my picture next to Obama’s on the feature image, falling into the same trap of exclusivity that befell our “First Bank President“.
It is with this lesson learned that I revisit the topic in order to share with you the interview from yesterday. Whereas when I write, I usually go into myself, talking to Niko yesterday enabled me to share some really heartfelt experiences from my time as an Obama foot soldier. However, during this expansive interview, we talked about so much more than just the fact that a speech idea that I wrote was incorporated into Barack Obama’s 2008 South Carolina primary victory speech. In fact, that fact essentially became a throwaway line as we instead focused on issues of unbelonging, the burdens felt by African-Americans who bear generations of repression in their souls and the commonalities of pain that all humans feel irrespective of our differences.
This is a close to three hour interview, that is how awed I was by it, I could not get myself to break away. There were a lot of people who commented and said that they were glued to their phones/screens for the whole interview and felt a cathartic relief from our shared conversations. If you can’t listen to the whole thing at once, just bookmark this page or the YouTube video below and listen to it in segments. Also, in the interest of making it about all of us instead of just Niko and me, please use #ExclusiveChange to share this article and the video and get the conversation started. These conversations we desperately need are not so much about Obama but about a politics that uses our hopes to change the fortunes of politicians as both parties ground us into dust. #ExclusiveChange Click To Tweet
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