Barack won: Now what? So what?

Nayaba Arinde | 5/23/2013, 4:06 p.m.

It has been just over a week; the post election euphoria is still keeping the nation buoyant. So the senator from Illinois won the

presidential election.

Now what?

Barack Obama, the man from Hawaii, born of an African father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas. This husband to Michelle and father of two daughters, Malia and Sasha, has already set up part of his transition team and met with outgoing, lame duck president George Bush at the White House on Monday to discuss issues and policies and the future. Complacency and euphoria may not be as strange bedfellows as some would think, but Black folk worldwide are hoping that the two are not twin components for a superficial movement for change.

Councilman Charles Barron said that people respond out of "inspiration or desperation," and so with practical measures at hand, he and a coalition of activists--elected and otherwise-- intend to work toward a new era of real and relevant change that everyday people can believe in.

"The election of President-elect Obama is a tremendous victory for Black folks," said Atty. Roger Wareham of the December 12th Movement's International Secretariat. "However, it is a beginning, not the end. We must continue to work together as a consistent, organized presence to ensure that the new president will address Black folks' agenda. At the top of that agenda is the establishment of a single-party-payer national health care system."

What with the January 20, 2009, inauguration preparations well underway and subject to much media coverage and ticket scalpers, the "I can't believe we've got a Black president' portion of events is quickly dissipating. Some Black folk are walking around talking about "Happy New Year," in the middle of November. "It's the New Year of President Obama," explained Morgan Henderson, a graduate from Long Island.

"I haven't cried yet," stated Brooklyn community and unity organizer Daniel Goodine. "The spirit of my people was strong, so I remain strong on the outside. On November 4, the ground shook with the masses and I saw the dream that Dr. King spoke about. Working in the street on November 4,I saw smiling faces. I saw young and old, rich and poor, and the human race standing in line for unity. I have been crying for most of my life for change from neighborhood to neighborhood, from state to state. I have marched, picketed and fought for the youth, just to see things better for the youth," said Goodine, founder of Men Elevating Leadership for Youth and recent district leader candidate for the 55th district of Brownsville.

"I heard Barack talk to the youth. I know that if Brownsville will just remember November 4, that the Ville will never be the same. We need job training for youth, workshops, real after-school programs, street patrols in the hood by men that care, true leadership and funds that will aide the needy. I wish that Mr. Obama would come to Brownsville so that the youth could see him and touch him, because I know that he is more than a dream. He is man of wisdom that lights the way. He is the protection in the night. He is a bright and shining star that we have seen, and he is the organizer that will make it better for all I pray."