Working toward goals can make dreams come true

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 4, 2003

As long as you have a dream and work really hard at accomplishing it, there is a possibility that it may still eventually come true.

By the time that this article is printed, the election will be history. However, I want to give my congratulations to whoever won the Suffolk Clerk of Court position, and to say I hope that your service will benefit all citizens who will be affected in some way.

I tape various TV shows while I am at work, and last Friday Oprah Winfrey interviewed the new Miss Florida, Ericka Dunlap, who is now the new 2004 Miss America.


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So many of us missed that pageant because it aired during the time the electric power was off because of Hurricane Isabel. However, some of my friends who saw the pageant were probably just as surprised as Dunlap was, because no one would have guessed that someone with skin as dark as hers would have won this pageant which has predominantly white contestants.

Dunlap said she began competing in talent and beauty pageants when she was 6 and was usually the only black child participating. She also commented that white or the lighter-skinned black girls were always the only ones who were considered as being beautiful.

&uot;I really wasn’t beautiful to them because I had dark skin and a wide nose. However, winning the Miss America Pageant has been an ultimate childhood dream all of my life,&uot; she said.

Dunlap also said that during the program, the pattern of the runway was set up with white long strips down the middle of the floor and a black one on each side.

&uot;At that time I felt like I was walking on a cloud. It was amazing; it still is amazing. My life has changed and I am ready to accept any challenge that is placed before me,&uot; she said.

Winfrey called her big win a &uot;hallelujah moment,&uot; to emphasize that it was about time for things to change, and that Dunlap can stand as an example to others who may have a dream.

And now the day after the election has come. I don’t know what the outcome will be at this time, but I want to commend black candidates for taking on the challenge to fill the next Suffolk Clerk of Court position. Some even worked harder than others to fulfill their dream. If you didn’t win the race, you still won the battle because you were given the chance to make your program known, and to fight in what you believed in to be the best for this office, and this is a big step in the right direction for our state for equal opportunity. During the campaigning, we news reporters are frequently put on the spot by readers and friends asked whom we are voting for. I have worked here for 32 years and have accumulated many friends – black and white in and out the workplace. I have attended many white and black events, performed with my YWCA Chorus on many programs for at least 12 years, and have been invited to social events in the same way by members of both races. Better still, one black candidate and I are members of the same church..

When I’m asked the question who I am voting for, this really bothers me sometimes because if I give my answer, it could cause some well-meaning friends to want to debate my answer into an argument. Therefore, I usually answer this question by saying, &uot;I haven’t made up my mind yet,’ knowing good and well that I had.

Now that you know this about me, I am equally glad that The News-Herald let me off the spot and didn’t endorse any candidate at all for the Clerk of Court position since this was one of the most contested positions in the election.

One person even said to me, &uot;When the election is over, will you tell me whom you voted for then?&uot;

Well, I will tell you this, I did take my own advice from my &uot;Off the Wall&uot; article printed last week; so here is my answer.

I voted for a candidate not based on race or color or friend or foe but upon qualifications only.

I went into that voting booth early yesterday morning, punched the candidate’s spot for the court position along with other open office positions, and left the precinct contented that I had just exercised my freedom of speech.

If the candidate that I voted for wins, I will be glad that I may have been the one to have put him or her in that office. If my candidate loses, then I am satisfied that I felt comfortable and not guilty that I still made the choice that I thought was right.

And now I am glad that the case of the Suffolk Clerk of Court is now closed, at least for the next eight years that is.

Evelyn Wall is a staff writer and regular columnist for the News-Herald. She can be contacted at 934-9615 or