Election Night in Harlem

November 6, 2008

A snapshot of my Harlem, my hometown, on the night Barack Obama was elected. I don't have any words yet, you're gonna have to give me a minute.

[download version] | [youtube version]

Posted by jsmooth995 at November 6, 2008 12:37 PM

That's awesome :) This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Posted by: Ajana at November 6, 2008 12:43 PM

I keep crying every time I see stuff like this. I'm so jealous of the people in big cities who got to celebrate with big crowds.

Posted by: Becca at November 6, 2008 12:50 PM

This is what I am talking about, all people celebrating together, no matter where they come from. Just beiing happy together!

I am always happy when my newsreader says a new illdoctrine post is online!

Posted by: christof.lapd at November 6, 2008 12:52 PM

The children of the civil rights movement have definitely inherrited another great victory in the name of their fathers. History has been made. May God bless the peaceful heart and righteous inspiration within us all, blessing His successors in this day, tomorrow, and forever more.

Great Clip!

Posted by: Will Power at November 6, 2008 12:57 PM

i am so happy for you americans.
and for everybody worldwide. people were celebrating everywhere. like here, in berlin, germany.

Posted by: alia at November 6, 2008 1:01 PM

i am a canadian and could just not sleep election night, i kept getting up and checking "did he win, did he win?" it's like the whole world has just sighed with relief.


no pressure.


Posted by: jenn at November 6, 2008 1:05 PM

Awesome video Jay. Yes We Can & Yes We Did.

Posted by: ap215 at November 6, 2008 1:05 PM

That's awesome. I wish I could have been there.

Posted by: Martin G. at November 6, 2008 1:05 PM

it makes my heart break a little that i moved away just before this happens. we held it down in Nashville, but it just isn't the same. thanks for reminding me of home.

Posted by: Jennifer oh jenny at November 6, 2008 1:09 PM

"I don't have any words yet, you're gonna have to give me a minute."

Sums it up perfectly Jay. Before I knew what was happening we were by a pool at friends who live next to SCAD singing, dancing, hugging, chanting, crying, smiling, laughing and basically enjoying everything. It's almost too much. If I had two days in my life I'd want to repeat it'd be my wedding day and 11/4/2008. We did it Jay. We really deed it!!!

Posted by: Michael at November 6, 2008 1:11 PM

Just beautiful.

Posted by: Kandi Henry at November 6, 2008 1:26 PM

People dancing in the streets, celebrating something national, it's really great.

Posted by: Brian at November 6, 2008 1:46 PM

(a gringo loose translation: We are all Obama; We follow Obama; We roll with Obama)

I am a - Born Again American.

I was on the Internet with another expatriate here in Cape Town, South Africa...Listening to WBAI, also through the Internet.

She started crying, i handed her a tissue. I started crying, and fetched a tissue for myself.

Now the work begins.

We look for you Smooth, to give commentary throughout these: The Obama years.


Posted by: audiodramatist at November 6, 2008 2:02 PM

I ibid Michael. Your video was Zen.

Posted by: Fae Yin at November 6, 2008 2:07 PM

We were dancing in Oakland, too

I'm still weepy.

Posted by: gwen at November 6, 2008 2:28 PM

Dude! Just the look on your face at the end of that video says it all, no need for words! Its crazy im so happy...tears of joy..is this what this feels like! mAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: shannon at November 6, 2008 3:58 PM

Congrats from overseas!
I was hoping and supporting as hell - good work, y'all!

And pleeeeezeeee, Jay, tell me the name of the song in this Video!!! You can use my E-Mail-Adress over there...

Greetings from Germany,
MC Winkel

Posted by: MC Winkel at November 6, 2008 4:12 PM

Despite the whole boatload of tears of joy that I've shed in the past couple of days, I don't think it's really sunk in. I was so afraid to believe that we could persevere and succeed, so afraid that defeat would be snatched from the jaws of victory that I stopped feeling anything but that fear. Now, I'm planning to start feeling hopeful... any time now.

Posted by: Becky at November 6, 2008 4:38 PM

It's experiences like this (The landslide Obama victory) that makes me feel good to be right. Right about my left and centrist views that soon-to-be President Obama personifies. Ever since he formed the exploratory committee and told us he did drugs in his formative years to get fucked up (wasn't that the point?) I had my mind made up for whom I was backing. Here's an honest and determined man that we honestly and steadfastly voted into office. Now the real trying times will begin to undo the damage the baboon and the boar did the last 8 years. I'm not going to front, I cried during the acceptance speech on Election night.

Posted by: Jay B at November 6, 2008 5:36 PM

I was in Oakland, CA and it looked exactly the same. Your vid brought me back to the same space I was int hat night! Thank you brother. Tears of joy.


Posted by: Senbei at November 6, 2008 5:42 PM

This is a great moment to be alive. The absence of hope is now gone. This is a testement to all that is possible,but the hard work starts today. He cannot do it alone. To have change is to work for change. We must work together for it. Be the change you want to see in this country,in this world.

Posted by: Kamau Williams at November 6, 2008 6:25 PM

oh jay you make me wanna get a flag pin

Posted by: diane wah at November 6, 2008 6:48 PM

Congratulations from Poland - you did it!
It's really a special moment - not just because of the political and social aspect - but also as it is the first president in American history who takes hip hop seriously and treats it with respect.

Posted by: Yeahyeah! at November 6, 2008 6:49 PM

Just an unreal moment... speechless...

Posted by: TACH at November 6, 2008 7:52 PM

I'm on my tenth election related video post from my feedreader in one sitting and each one has moved me to tears, even two days after the fact! My heart is just bursting.

I LOVED this video! I was at work election night and although the vibe on the unit was celebratory I'd have given ANYTHING to escape the hospital for just a moment to see what was happening in the streets!

Thanks for letting me see it!

Posted by: missbhavens at November 6, 2008 8:16 PM

I was on 125th too that night...thank you for capturing the SPIRIT of such a monumental occasion.

Keep up the great work :)

~Boss Lady @ DrJays.com

Posted by: Boss Lady at November 6, 2008 9:26 PM

Perfect video. I spent that evening at home to share this historic moment with my sons, so i didn't get to experience that 'crowd love'. But I will get it in DC on Jan 20th...and i can't wait.

Posted by: veronica at November 6, 2008 9:56 PM

oh and it was great to run into you. i've been wanting to lay eyes on everyone i know...to see how their faces shine under this new bright light that we are all enjoying. wish i'd had a few more minutes to talk to you, but i know we will cross paths again, as always.

Posted by: veronica at November 6, 2008 9:59 PM

*downloaded* This is the kind of thing I can show my kids one day as I pray they know this kind of jubilation and pure hope. I thank God. Endlessly.

Posted by: holly at November 6, 2008 10:23 PM

For the first time in my life I feel like an American. I have been on the earth since the late sixties and never felt like I could put my luggage down in the USA. But when I saw the final states turn blue and the electoral votes said 342 for Obama I yelled the biggest YES! ever in my life and felt like I was home. I called everyone, my parents, nieces, and best friends I was busting with joy. Thank God, for allowing my parents who have had to deal with so much in their life to see this day. I am so proud of the youth who played a big part and really did their thing and voted. And to all the people around the world who show love and measure a Man not by the color of his skin but by his character.

Peace to all my Brothers and Sisters everywhere.

Posted by: Terence T at November 6, 2008 10:46 PM

I refused to celebrate until I was totally sure Obama was going to be president and when it happened I was overjoyed and filled with so much love for America at that moment. I thought of all my American friends and especially you, Jay. This is a wonderful opportunity. My only regret is that I wasn't there to share that moment with all of you.

Much love from Toronto, Canada

Posted by: Candace Joseph at November 6, 2008 11:34 PM

We did it yo! - CONGRATS!

Posted by: DJ Bozo at November 7, 2008 3:41 AM

like whoa!

-Vancouver, B.C

Posted by: A*MAZE at November 7, 2008 7:25 AM

Man, that made me cry.

Apparently you did not have to be in a big city to celebrate. My sister could hear an impromptu celebration on the streets of downtown Carbondale in Southern Illinois. Population 22,000.

Posted by: ellenbrenna at November 7, 2008 7:44 AM

That's so fantastic.

I am American but living up here in Canada, so I voted absentee back in October. It does mean that I sort of missed out on the celebrations when our man won, though. :( Thank you for letting us see yours.

Posted by: Canaduck at November 7, 2008 1:06 PM

Oh man... in Brooklyn, the celebrate look a lot like Harlem, except with not as much people. But for some reason, it feels as thought... I felt the energy of the whole world. It was higher than any other feeling in my life, because the world gave off a great big sigh of relief. It was bigger than when the Giants won the Super Bowl and everyone cheered in NY. It was... much... bigger than that. :)

Posted by: Nukirk at November 7, 2008 2:12 PM

Thanks Jay!!! You're a real Rock'n'Rolla.

Posted by: Christine at November 7, 2008 4:02 PM

The one person I was waiting for to have an opinion, to say something is YOU. Nothing? I know we have to give you a minute but come on - say something :)

Posted by: Desiree at November 7, 2008 4:11 PM

Made me cry ALL OVER AGAIN.

When you get done dropping greatness on this, can you PLEASE do a "What you did was racist" piece on NADER?! You always explain these things so well.

People keep going back to "he didn't call him an Uncle Tom, he asked a question" nonsense. And it's driving me nuts.

Posted by: bL-aktivist at November 7, 2008 4:11 PM

Ayo, I still get teary eyed when I watch this. I always wanted Obama to win but, in the back of my mind, I feared the worst. Don't forget to big up McCain for his final speech.

Posted by: Jah Logical at November 7, 2008 5:27 PM

I'm very white guy from a very white place, and I don't run into non-white people all that often. I'm not a racist redneck, just isolated.

I supported Obama simply because he's the smartest candidate I've seen in my life.

As i don't know many black people in my real life, images from the media influence my perceptions, even though I know it's not accurate. I always had certain knee-jerk reactions when I see black people, particularly young black men, that are based on those media stereotypes. I feel terrible about it when I think about it, and I've never even mentioned it to anyone. I know it's wrong, and I try to stifle those reactions as quickly as I can, but they're there.

At least they used to be.

This week, when I see black people, I just feel happy.

Posted by: WhiteGuy4Obama at November 7, 2008 11:12 PM

Jay, I can't wait to hear your own words on the subject! I keep checkin'! No pressure or anything, take as long as you need :).

Posted by: Elizabeth at November 8, 2008 3:09 AM

Take all the time you need to prepare your message addressing this unbelievable moment in our history (BTW, I'm a white dude, and it's even profound to US!). Obama's victory is indescribable as far as I'm concerned. You're much better at expressing yourself than I am, though. So I'll patiently wait on the edge of my seat.

Posted by: SDLN at November 8, 2008 4:37 AM

I had to leave this for a while, because I knew it would make me cry. Still choked up watching this & all the other celebration videos. It doesn't even end on American shores - a few buildings are flying the stars&stripes close to my house. In the UK. In England. In Bristol, a city of 400,000 people.

Feel the love America.

Posted by: Natali at November 8, 2008 8:28 AM

is it just because jay had a video about crying not being gay or are we all moved enough by this to accept being emasculated and embarrassed and admit we cried

ahhhh who cares, either way i cried and i do every time i see shit like this.. its changed my life i guess

Posted by: colin at November 8, 2008 12:52 PM

jay -

Poem of the Week -

Langston Hughes - 'I, Too, Sing America' - tell me THAT'S not a fitting poem.


Posted by: Wordsmith at November 8, 2008 1:02 PM

OH, beautiful.
I'm an American living in Germany and the day after the election, people kept coming up and congratulating me. The Turkish guys drinking tea at the kiosk where I buy my smokes had literal tears in their eyes and said, Today we are all American. The whole world is happy, for real.

Posted by: AmyGee at November 8, 2008 1:03 PM

Truly amazing...tears still come to my eyes when I see the celebration of people around the world. I'm still taking it all in and trying to come up with the exact words to express the way I feel about this. Right now, all I can say is AMAZING!

Posted by: Aretha at November 8, 2008 2:56 PM

Wow. I just when you think you can't cry in joy anymore, the tears are back again. Thanks, Jay. Also, something so poignant about a young man of color holding the flag proudly. It didn't seem like it belonged to all of us for the longest time.

Posted by: heyhey at November 8, 2008 4:19 PM

i attended the jewish theological seminary and lived in west harlem for four years. i am in jerusalem this year, but seeing this video made me long to come back home!
i just wanted to give a shout out to the dude in a kippah/yarmulke in the bottom left corner of the video during the last few seconds, as i am sure he was a fellow JTS student.

Posted by: invisible_hand at November 8, 2008 6:22 PM

I am overwhelmed with Peace for all citizens of the United States...and not only are we going to have an Black Man in the White House...but there will be a beautiful Black Woman as first lady and lets certainly not forget those two beautiful Black Children who will be playing and laughing in the white house too!!! Fills my heart with Joy just to imagine it.

Posted by: MN_Mom at November 10, 2008 9:11 AM

Lovely turn of the camera into your eyes, and the look they held.

Posted by: Nita O. at January 22, 2009 11:30 PM

Only just coming to this now, and this choked me up. Cheers for that. Seriously.

Posted by: Nny at June 4, 2009 12:41 PM


What's the song in this clip?

Posted by: JJ at July 16, 2009 5:35 PM

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