Austin, TX

Celebration in Historic Woolridge Park After The Election

Carol Lennox

Austin, TX.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I rolled up to the post-election rally in my new, bright red car, sunroof open, blaring Richie Havens’ “Freedom.”

President-elect Biden may not be the left-wing radical of my dreams, but as President Obama discovered, it’s hard to be that in the U.S. as leader of the free world. President Obama often brought me to happy tears, with his words full of complete sentences, his historical win, and his pure commitment to grass-roots organizing and uplifting the American people. As Joe Biden answered 45 about why Obama and Biden hadn’t accomplished the most liberal aspects of their agenda, “Two words. Republican Congress.”

So if Joe Biden isn’t my dream candidate, like Barack Obama was, why am I so thrilled with his win? Because we may still have a Republican Senate by January, and Joe knows how to work with them. He’s older than most of them, and knows many.

Because, one word. Kamala.

Because people like Joe stand between us and authoritarianism. And no self-respecting radical wants an authoritarian in charge. Neither do moderate Democrats or Libertarians, so let’s join arms, or rather bow to each other from six feet apart or more, and dance.

Where did I dance? Not in the actual streets, but in Woolridge Square Park in downtown Austin, Texas. It’s an historic Black park, where Booker T. Washington spoke in 1911, after being refused entry to the state Capitol. Black and Brown activists have gathered there ever since.

I was there with the Young Labor Leaders Alliance (Ya’ll), and Black and Latinx activist coalitions, the Austin Justice Coalition, Austin DSA, Freedom Network USA, and SunriseATX. I’m not young Black or Latinx. I'm simply an activist, but they welcomed me with elbow and fist bumbs. We were a small crowd, as we had just gathered the day after the election, and there was a massive gathering of both sides a few blocks away at the Capitol.

I’m good with that. We wore masks and were socially distanced. We were mostly able to hear the speakers tell us how we can stay active in Democracy after the election. When we couldn’t hear, it was because of a Trump supporter with a bullhorn yelling, “I will 'mess' you up, lady,” and “We love, you, we really do.” Somewhat contradictory messages.

Travis County Commisioner Jeff Trevillion spoke of the history of Woolridge Square Park, and the symbolism of our gathering there on November 7, 2020. Booker T. Washington first spoke there in 1911, when he was denied entry to the Texas Capitol Building. Black and diverse groups have gathered there for civil and human rights ever since.

Chas Moore, head of the Austin Justice Coalition, spoke of the urgency to remain aware of and active in supporting civil and human rights agendas regardless of who is in office. We were celebrating the win by Democrats, and simutaneously codntinuing the call for action.

I almost missed my actual chance to “dance in the streets.” The rally ended, people started dissembling the tables and speakers’ stand, and we reluctantly moved out. Music blared to play us to our cars. I passed three ladies my age, as much as I could determine that with masks on, dancing away by themselves under the shade of a tree in the 80 degree Texas sun. I confess, I had to think about it a minute.

It was hot. We had been standing or sitting in the sun for a couple of hours. The gathering had been small, so there was no hiding in the crowd. These dancers were three “older” white women in a group of young, diverse activists.

I joined their little group and danced. We danced alone, then together, laughing and doing similar moves. Two older men videoed us. One said, “You’ve got more moves than Carter’s has liver pills.”

I answered, “Yeah, and we need both.”

The music we danced to might not have been Richie Havens’ “Freedom.” It wasn’t “FDT” by YG, featuring Nipsey Hussle either. I wasn’t fast enough to get it on Shazam, but it was something of both, with a hook of hope and a couple of choruses of determination.

All of which proves you’re never too old to be a left-wing activist, to celebrate winning an election, to congregate with young radicals, and you’re never, never, never too old to dance.

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My purpose is to inspire and inform. You can read more by me on, and on the Good Men Project. I've had a lifetime of valuable experiences, and I want to share the lessons I've learned readily, or been forced to learn. I'm a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a mother to my amazing son, Blake Scott, whom I write about often. I also write about race, equality, social justice, sex, government, and Mindfulness, not in that order.

Austin, TX

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