In advance of the New York Democratic primary on June 26, Fi2W executive producer John Rudolph speakes with Rep. Rangel about his district’s growing Hispanic population.
Through Election Day, Feet in 2 Worlds reporter Aswini Anburajan interviewed voters from very different origins. She talked to a Polish first-time voter in Harlem, and then she interviewed two Bangladeshi men and an Argentinean woman in Jackson Heights, Queens. She even had time to make an appearance on PRI’s nationally syndicated show The World.
In the morning, Anburajan talked to Keith Shaka Daway, an immigrant voter from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Daway saw an eventual Obama victory as “a vindication” of his ancestors and the “freedom fighters” of the past. You can read more about him here and you can listen to him speaking on this audio clip:[audio:http://www.jocelyngonzales.net/FI2W/fi2w_KeithShaka.mp3]
Another interviewee was Carl Duck, an African American man in his fifties who voted today for the first time in his life. “It’s time to make a change,” he told Anburajan. You can listen to him on this clip:[audio:http://www.jocelyngonzales.net/FI2W/fi2w_CarlDuck.mp3]
Tamar Owens and her daughter Oprie, 7, were at the same polling place. “Its exciting to vote for a person that’s real. That’s real by heart by soul,” the mother said of Barack Obama. The kid, as you can hear on this audio interview, was also very enthusiastic:[audio:http://www.jocelyngonzales.net/FI2W/fi2w_Oprie.mp3]
Voting in Harlem, by CarbonNYC/Flickr
NEW YORK – Aswini Anburajan, FI2W Reporter
Keith Shaka Daway is “sixty and a few months.” Originally from Trinidad, he says today is a chance to “vindicate” all his “ancestors” and the “freedom fighters” who have gone before him.
“Nat Turner, John Brown, and aaaaallll of ’em. I’m pulling that lever just for them, not for me,” he said, standing in line to vote at Madison Avenue and 120th street. “It’s a vindication because Barack Obama has sparked something international.”
“All those abolitionists and all the Quakers,” Daway continued, would feel that what they worked for had come to fruition.
On the reaction in Trinidad to a potential Obama victory?
“It’s carnival,” Daway laughed. “Backin’ up’n dancing, it’s music in the streets, rum-drinking, partying for at least seventy hours.”
NEW YORK, By Aswini Anburajan, FI2W Reporter
Carmen Garcia came prepared for the long wait at the polls today. She and her husband brought metal folding chairs in anticipation of the long lines.
Every five or ten minutes, the older couple from Puerto Rico, get up and carry their chairs a few feet further.
They won’t say who they’re voting for.
“It’s a secret,” Carmen insists. But she does say that she hopes change is coming.
The Garcias aren’t the only ones who brought chairs. Voters are bracing themselves for the wait, talking on their cell phones and introducing themselves to each other.
NEW YORK – By Aswini Anburajan, FI2W Reporter
Sadekh is an immigrant from Senegal. Standing in a line to vote in Harlem’s Little Senegal on 116th St. and Fifth Avenue –a line that’s down the block and represents about a two-hour wait– he is adamant that he’s not voting for Obama because he’s black.
He won’t give me his last name or let me record the interview but he says that he’s been voting for the past sixteen years.
“If I’m just voting for Obama because he’s black,” he asks rhetorically, “how did I vote for all these white guys?”
He says it will take more than just Obama’s getting into office to change world attitudes about the U.S. His comments are in stark contrast to those of many of the voters around him, who say that the world will see the U.S. very differently if Obama is elected.
Still, black voters –both African immigrants and African Americans– do say that they never thought this day would come.
Gloria Mackey, a long time Harlem resident turned around to ask this reporter indignantly, “How do you think I feel?” when asked what she thought about voting for an African American.
“I marched in Selma. I marched on Washington,” she said.
A voter came out of the polls and walked past the long line and said, “It’s a two hour wait.”
“That’s all. That’s nothing,” Mackey said. She’d already been waiting a long time.