HOPE, OPTIMISM AND CAUTION

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Locals react to Biden’s presidency win; Harris making history.

Joe Biden speaks while flanked by Sen. Kamala Harris at the Queen theater on Nov. 5 in Wilmington, Delaware.

DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES/TNS

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been declared the winner and will become the 46th president of the U.S.

The election was historic with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris poised to be the first Black, Asian and female VP. Her father is a Jamaican immigrant and mother an Indian immigrant. Harris attended Howard University, an HBCU for her undergraduate degree, and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Last week, Black Daytonans sounded off about Biden’s win.

‘Excited and hopeful’

“It’s historic with us having our first African American and female vice president. I hope it comes with some policies that are going to benefit poor and working communities. I am excited and hopeful but not overly optimistic that we will get those policies. We as citizens must continue to do more than vote and hold politicians accountable,” responded Rev. Evans Smith, pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, Daytona Beach.

‘Worked tirelessly’

The NAACP is pleased with minority turnout at a national level.

Local Branch President Cynthia Slater emphasized, “The NAACP don’t endorse candidates but looks at issues that may help or hurt African Americans and minorities. We worked tirelessly to register voters, assist ex-felons, voter education and voter protection during the COVID-19 crises. The voters chose Biden and Harris. African Americans voted in record numbers nationwide. The NAACP will continue to fight for justice, fairness, equality and the elimination of racism in this country.”

HBCU connections

There is hope that issues pertaining to Black America will be addressed with the incoming administration.

“I’m happy with the tentative outcome. I am excited about the VP-elect having HBCU connections with myself teaching at a HBCU. We want Black education to stay at the forefront of their administration along with issuers pertaining to the Black community, commented Dr. Daniel Hollar, department chair, Behavioral & Social Sciences at Bethune-Cookman University.

Hollar further stated, “We want more serious attention on racism, police brutality, economics, health care and other issues in our communities as top priorities.”

Doesn’t change protests

Local community activists also weighed in. Jennifer Howard is a member of the group Ormond Neighbors United. It holds Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protests and rallies at the Grenada Bridge in Ormond Beach on Wednesdays.

“Biden being elected doesn’t change our protests. Hopefully with him, we’ll have someone at the head of the table that is willing to listen and work with people not just on political agenda,’’ Howard said.

 

Sharing ideas

Community members also shared ideas on how to bring the nation together.

“A lot has to do with the current administration pushing separatism instead of unity. We must have town halls and community forums with candidates and discuss race and economics,’’ Hollar noted.

“People must interact with each other and speak on issues. We must be more vocal and honest about how decisions may affect us. The country was built on our backs and everyone comes here and benefit. I can speak as a Black person in America.’’

Smith added, “I think the country has always been divided not just politically, but with socioeconomic status. It’s the haves vs. the have nots. We must acknowledge this as our real divide. It’s getting harder and harder – working people just to have a sustainable lifestyle.”

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