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My date with Gwen … a woman in I-full

Hmmmmm … Absolut Yum! I went tonight to see and listen to Gwen Ifill speak at Hyatt Sarasota to a Sarasota audience about race and politics and the Obama campaign and the future of black candidates in American politics.

Ifill probably wishing I would just move along!

Ifill probably wishing I would just move along!

Yowza. The girl was on fire. I’m telling you. Ifill was a handful. Smart. Confident. Taking no prisoners. She was a woman in full … in Ifill … and it was frickin’ fabulous to see. I’ve got some balls myself, but nothing like Ifill. She’s strong and doesn’t suffer fools anywhere near gladly. I liked her pretty immensely.

Not a little because she spoke about a subject that has been a theme through my writing — the subject of race in America, and in particular in Sarasota. Though, of course, Ifill does it at a level I can’t even contemplate.

The event was put on by Forum Truth for a Change — if you haven’t checked out this prescient organization founded in part by — I believe — the Caren and Dick Lobo power couple, you are MISSING out on one of the — no, the BEST offering in this cultural-coast city. Check it out … better yet, join and take me as your guest. 😉

Ifill quoted Malcolm X and talked effortlessly and magnificently on future presidential campaigns — lesson: the game ALWAYS changes; and about Obama’s challenges ahead — “Honeymoons always end.” And, ain’t that the truth.

In any event, I threw caution to the wind and actually gave her some of my writing along the same lines as hers. I was a nervous wreck.

As outspoken as I am, I’m also pretty shy and this was really pushing my comfort zone. But, her whole talk was about politics and race and Obama — and I said to myself, hell’s bells, I’ve written about that too!

So, I grabbed hold of my guts and handed a small packet of columns to her (Got Guts? Hope’s Got My Vote. Was Wright So Wrong? And my Swan Song column for the Pelican Press.)When it was my turn at the table for a signing of her book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, I just said, “Ms. Ifill, I’m a big fan and I’d like to offer you some of my columns on the subject of race and politics in Sarasota.”

She was awfully sweet. She smiled and said, “I’ve got a lot of plane rides coming up … .” Implying that she might give me a read on one of her flights.

Heaven? Did I say heaven? That’s where I was as I left the Hyatt Hotel. I hope she does read my stuff. I don’t care if nothing ever comes of it, but I’m glad I went out on that limb.

Final note … on the way out of the signing, guess who I ran into? Yes, AGAIN, I crossed paths with über-politico — veritable deus ex machina — Nancy Feehan, President of the local Democratic Club of Sarasota. I figure if Feehan’s there … I must be in the right place at the right time.

And I was. Thanks Ifill — for a very worthy earful.

Posted on February 3rd, 2009Comments RSS Feed
2 Responses to My date with Gwen … a woman in I-full
  1. […] — Gwen Ifill stopped in the ‘Sota yesterday evening and offered up her thoughts about contemporary black leaders here in America. The H-T’s got a report, and so does Reality Chick. […]

  2. I LOVE Gwen Ifill. I think she’s the epitome of supercool — incredibly bright, funny, insightful, and fair. I know she’ll love your work!



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