I have just returned from England, where the temperatures were mild, the sun was bright and umbrellas were necessary for only part of one day. This was the first time I spent several days in the U.K.
My other trips to London were quick airport stopovers before making my way to Africa or other parts of Europe.
This time however, London and Oxford called me to explore their sights, history and people.
I attended an international biographers symposium where writers from France, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, England and the United States gathered to share their insights about what it means to shine an intensive light on the lives of other people – whether well known or not. Fellow biographers’ smiles were warm and congeniality was high.
But while we talked and laughed and shared, one thing was on everyone’s minds and invaded discussions daily – the upcoming American presidential election.
This critical, often nonsensical and even frightening election season has captured the attention of much of the world’s population. People around the world are watching, analyzing and nervously waiting for this election’s outcome.
Of course, we’ll all soon know who will move into the White House in January 2017. In the meantime, I am reminded of what media writer Richard Durham said some 67 years ago. In looking at the crucial importance of voting for all people – especially African Americans – who yearn for freedom, justice, and equality, Durham noted:
…the real-life story of a single Negro in Alabama walking into a voting booth across a Ku Klux Klan line has more drama and world implications than all the stereotypes Hollywood or radio can turn out in a thousand years. (Richard Durham, 1949)
While actual Ku Klux Klan lines may not be apparent in 2016, it’s clear that this election has worldwide implications. I hope that everyone will vote, through the drama and all, on November 8th.
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