The barbershop was jumping. Alvin didn’t allow smoking or whiskey drinking, but today, he had allowed somebody to bring in a keg of beer. The noise had steadily increased from the time the shop opened and the four of us—Alvin, Jabo, Leroy, and me—arrived. Everybody was shouting, trying to be heard above music from the DVD player.

“This is truly a great day in the history of black folks in America,” shouted Jabo over the noise. “Man, we got to celebrate until we drop, cause this is truly a great day.”

“You got that right. We did it, we got that boy nominated,” Alvin was crowing along with the rest of us.

“Alvin,” I shouted, “what you mean ‘we,’ you voted for Clinton in the primaries.”

“That is neither here nor there. It don’t mean I ain’t for Obama. Like they say, we got to stick together to get them republicans outa office.” Alvin did something I hadn’t seen him do since we were young men running after women. He took a swig of beer.

Leroy shouted so loud everybody stopped talking. “Youall think we can get him elected president? Now that will be sumpin. A black president of these United States. Yes sir, that will be sumpin, it surely will.”

“Hey, you jive turkeys who didn’t think Obama was black enough, is he black enough for you now?” Alvin was grinning, and I knew he wouldn’t be cutting any hair that day.

I threw a damper on the festivals. “He won a scrimmage, now he got to win the game, and that ain’t gonna be easy.”

“I think Louis is right,” Alvin agreed, “I don’t care what nobody say, race gon play a big part in this election. Many white folks ain’t comfortable just thinkin bout a black man in the White House. And let’s not forget Michelle Obama. Can you see them accepting a strong, beautiful, intelligent black woman as first lady? I mean come on, let’s get real.”



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