Editor's note: Bishop T.D. Jakes is founder and senior pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, Texas, a multiracial, nondenominational church with more than 50 outreach ministries.
"It is a victory for democracy that proves that our country provides possibilities for all people," writes Jakes.
(CNN) -- Last night, I like most Americans of all stripes, watched with visible goose bumps as history was made. I sat with my 13-year-old son and looked from the screen to his eyes as Sen. Barack Obama became the first African American in history to lead a U.S. major-party ticket when he claimed the nomination for the Democratic Party for president of the United States.
I congratulate Sen. Obama on this historic accomplishment. I thank him for accepting the torch that was lit by our forefathers and proudly carrying it through the darkness of our struggles, trials and tribulations, bringing light and hope to a new generation, and for facing all those who said "No" and "You can't win," or "It will never happen," and firmly, proudly, defiantly saying, "Yes I can!"
However, what I really hope people take away from that night is that this is not just a victory for African Americans, it is a victory for democracy that proves that our country provides possibilities for all people. It is also a sign that a metamorphosis is in progress. Today we saw that Americans respect experience, but are interested in change. I hope that we can somehow merge the best ideas of our differences and emerge with a president who epitomizes our highest and best ideals. While it remains unclear where we are going, last night proves that we as a people have moved beyond business as usual.
I congratulate not just Sen. Obama on his victory, but the country on this landmark event that has shattered a past all too often filled with reasons to separate us as opposed to a voice of reason to unite us. The victory cup does not rest on the shoulders of the senator alone, but to all those who have been able to lift the conversation from petty racism, antiquated cut-throat politics, and fear-based campaigns to the larger issues of how we would like to see our country led into the future and ultimately how our country will be remembered.
As the days and discussions of this political season continue, it is my sincere hope and prayer that we do not sink back into the abyss of political pettiness that has plagued our country and our lives for so many years. I am grateful to Sen. Hillary Clinton for giving, through this campaign, a chance for my daughters to see that their femininity is not a liability. Today both my sons and daughters came to understand that their ethnicity isn't viewed by progressive Americans as a limitation or a liability. iReport.com: Readers' feelings on Obama
For me it was almost déjà vu as I sat with my son. I remembered a little over 40 years ago watching the famous King speech with my dad. Similarly, I watched with my youngest son last night as a historical moment unfolded. He and I saw the dreams of slaves come true as the sons of slaves and the slave owners clapped their hands in one progressive sweep. As I drifted into sleep, all I could see was the twinkle in my son's eyes. His eyes were illuminated with possibilities, and his heart was filled with the potential of what is attainable for qualified, competent people of all types who prepare themselves intellectually and are well vested with a divine sensitivity to the "fierce urgency of now!"
Congratulations Sen. Obama.