|Renewing Inalienable Rights, Rebuilding Communal Confidence, Re-energizing Sustainable Economy, Reviving Unbridled Spirit
|15226 Lakeshore Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44110
The National Institute for Restorative Justice
|THE DREAMER'S DREAM
An Exhibit of Photographs,
Publications and Memorabilia
in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the
Nomination, Election & Inauguration of
Barack H. Obama, Jr.
In the Ladybug Gallery
August 28, 2018 - January 21, 2019
15224 Lakeshore Boulevard
Cleaveland, Ohio 44110
On Tuesday, August 28, 2018, Kumbaya on the Shore opened its inaugural exhibit "The
Dreamer's Dream," in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Barack H. Obama's historic
nomination as President of the United States of America. The exhibit of photographs, publications,
letters and memorabilia will run through January 21, 2019 - ten years to the date of his
inauguration. The exhibit is free and open to the public, Thursdays - Saturdays during routine
business hours of Kumbaya on the Shore's Ladybug by the Beach, with programmed
Thursday evening public conversations and a Get Out The Vote 10th anniversary
election celebration on Sunday, November 4, 2018 beginning at 2 p.m.
When Senator Barack Obama first came to
Cleveland ahead of the March 4, 2008 Democratic
Primary to pitch his bid for the Party's presidential
nomination, I was there. That's me standing at
the end of the aisle just above the Senator, waving
a "Change We Can Believe In" sign.
While Cleveland was unable to fill Public
Auditorium for that first visit - because too many
nay sayers contended that "the numbers just
weren't there" - I was a believer from the beginning
- "fired up, ready to go" - and immediately went to
work on behalf of his campaign.
I opened the doors to my business, Deuteronomy 8:3 Cafe as a volunteer recruiting, training, and
meeting space for Organizing for America; I pounded the pavement as an OFA Neighborhood Team
Leader; I organized voter registration drives, phone-a-thons, and passed out voting and campaign
literature to everyone who crossed my path - in the café, on the streets, in bank lines, at the post
office and grocery stores - where ever there were people, I campaigned.
In an October 30, 2008 interview, WVIZ identified me as one of "Obama's True Believers." Indeed I
was, and my faith in him began long before his bid for the presidency. I will speak more to that in
my September "Dreamweaver" musing, where I will recall my first encounters before his candidacy
including stocking Dreams From My Father in the first inventory for the 2001 opening of D8:3, the
excitement my late mother and I shared while watching his 2004 DNC Convention Keynote address,
and "losing my cool" when seeing him enter New Birth Missionary Baptist Church just ahead of us,
as I waited to be escorted in with members of the Scott - King family and friends for the funeral of
our nation's beloved Coretta in 2006.
Even so, you could have blown me over with a feather the day I received the call informing me that I
was one of the final four supporters selected to attend the 2008 Democratic
Convention - all expenses paid - as the guest of the Democratic National
Congressional Committee. The Plain Dealer reported my response as likened to "one of those
grinning ball players bound for Disneyland" as I screamed out, "I'm going to Denver!"
The call came on Friday afternoon, August 8, 2008 just as I was welcoming a volunteer training
group into D8:3. It came mere hours after I had pitched my hat into the campaign's state lottery for
public tickets for the final event of the Convention at Denver's "Mile High Stadium", where Senator
Obama would officially accept the nomination of the party on the forty-fifth anniversary of the
historic March on Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his memorable "I Have A
When I mentioned to the caller how surprised I was that they got back to me so soon after informing
me earlier that the lottery would not close for a week, he asked "what are you talking about?" He
then went on to explain that he was not with the Ohio campaign, and that the invitation was for me
to attend the entire convention. Unknowingly, my name had been put in place for the opportunity
by two of my dearest friends, Sara Guettle and Jere Reiser in Dallas, Texas. That's when I burst back
into the room and screamed in fantasy land bound excitement, "I'm going to Denver."
At the end of the five days in Denver, I had accumulated
so much stuff that I to ship boxes filled with my
Convention bounty back to Cleveland. Boxes that sat idle
in a closet for the past ten years, and grew in numbers as
the collection expanded during the remainder of the
campaign through the November 4, election, including
photos from Obama's November 3, 2008 "Eve of
Election" visit to Cleveland.
Over the next three months, more than three hundred
items from the collection will be on exhibit at Ladybug by
the Beach, including my "novice" photographs (my
grandfather and aunt are the professionals, although
some of mine are quite good), Convention credentials
and invitations, publications, autographed books by
Obama and Nancy Pelosi, the email from Donna Brazile
announcing the four lucky winners - which she later
signed for me during the Convention, campaign buttons,
tee-shirts, signs, posters, door hangers, stickers,
memorabilia and prized items - including
Congresswoman Pelosi's gift of a "Madam Speaker"
brooch crafted by the firm of Ann Hand of Washington,
Some items will be placed up for auction at the end of the
exhibit. (Ladies quit licking your lips. The brooch is not
one of them.)
I look forward to seeing you at Kumbaya on the Shore!
~ Mitte Imani
|I am running in this race because of what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now."
Because I believe that there's such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.
Because I will never forget that the only reason that I'm standing here today is because somebody, somewhere
stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn't popular. And because
that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. And then a few thousand stood up. And then a few million
stood up. And standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world.
Barach H. Obama, Jr.
|President Obama getting out the
vote in Cleveland, Ohio 9.13.18