The Black Survivors: Election Day Reflections

Written by on November 10, 2020

by Sara Lomax-Reese | WURD

The morning after election day 2020. I was woozy as if shaking off a hangover. Tired and on edge, I’m still trying to assuage the anxiety that lodged in the pit of my stomach some time around 8pm Tuesday night. While many predicted that this would be a nail-biter election, my optimistic self was buoyed by the assumption that surely after four disastrous years under the Trump regime, America had had enough. Neither deadly pandemic nor the embrace of open racism nor an economy in the toilet will break America’s addiction to white supremacy. It is this nation’s drug of choice. 

While it’s now clear who has won, we know that Black people — Black people in Philadelphia to be specific — were absolutely pivotal in determining the outcome of this election. That alone is encouraging and cause for celebration. We also know that at 13% of the national population, it’s hard for us to have the ultimate say in the governance of this country. 

So we control what we can control.  For me that means a healthy dose of radical self care. As panic started to set in on Tuesday night, first I made chocolate chip cookies (my comfort food of choice in times of strife). When that didn’t work, I rolled out my yoga mat and stretched, balanced and breathed until the knots in my body and mind started to loosen. 

Taking care of ourselves, our families and community is paramount in this moment. The stress that we have been carrying for the last four years (ok, four centuries) is debilitating. And self care is one powerful remedy. I don’t see this as an option but an absolute necessity, a matter of life and death really. Because we know that for Black people, sustained, relentless stress kills. 

That’s why I had to be strategic on election night. As I flipped between the all-news channels that were offering blow by blow analysis on the returns, I also listened to WURD. The difference was stark. A Black owned media outlet, offering news, information and analysis by and for Black people is rare and powerful. I welcomed the impromptu interviews of Kerry Washington and John Legend on “Save Space” with Sincerely Syreeta. I was informed and engaged by the African American policy experts who peppered Charles Ellison’s special WURD On Politics election show. And I have been inspired by the grounded analysis and encouragement offered on Wake Up With WURD with Solomon Jones. 

Throughout election day we heard directly from the people. Starting early in the morning, callers shared concerns about voting machines that hadn’t arrived or long lines snaking down the street, or good samaritans bringing pizza and water to ease the boredom of the wait. WURD is one of the few places where we are in constant dialogue with our community. We talk. We listen. We offer a place where we lift every voice.

This is in direct contrast to mainstream media where there is a numbing sameness: a parade of experts, pundits, and spokespeople disconnected from what’s happening to real people in real communities in real time. 

Ours is a simple strategy: give the power to the people. When we do, we are enriched and emboldened. I am constantly inspired by our callers. Two of our regulars have been playing in my mind during this time of uncertainty and strife. Brother Jacob from Olney regularly references that we are “the Black survivors.” Yes indeed. We are. And every time Brother Jah Bless calls in I immediately think of the mantra, “Who Jah Bless, No Man Curse.” 

This is who we are. Black Survivors. Blessed and guided by our ancestors. Forming a Black Wall to try and save this nation from its worst instincts, once again. So despite all the evidence emerging from the election that racism still dominates the hearts and minds of so many, I remain encouraged. This is a time when independent Black owned media is essential. We need diverse opinions, experiences and perspectives in a complex, racially charged society like America. And even though there are far too few outlets like WURD in the world, we are here.  So we ask you to keep listening, calling, sharing and liking across all of our platforms. Tell your friends and neighbors. Invite them to join the WURD family. We know that regardless of what the future holds, our struggle will continue. And WURD will be with you every step of the way.

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