The house was electrifying as some of Washington, D.C.’s Black professionals gathered here to watch the results of what was arguably the most important election of our lifetime.
They yelled. They clapped. They swelled with pride as the election results came in and Barack Obama won state after state after state. There was loud, thunderous applause when the results from California came in and it was announced that Barack Obama would be the next president of the United States.
Jill Patton has been waiting for this moment. “My father was almost lynched in Birmingham, Alabama, and my mom marched for civil rights. She risked her life to make sure that we had equality,” says Patton. “It’s just so exciting to be here, knowing what I know about what my parents went through.”
Dyson, 43, says that this moment made him feel proud to be an African-American male. “To see a Black man make history via a changing country that doesn¹t look at race as a criterion for president lets me know that all African-American men have an opportunity to become what they want to be.”
It’s a new day, Lord. “It’s a good day,” yells an Obama supporter from another room.
“His grandmother is smiling,” another says, referring to the woman who raised the Illinois senator and who passed away just a day before the election.
Zaneta Hargrove, 40, says the fact that the United States now has a Black president is surreal. The victory, however, is real, something we can feel, experience and see.
This is history.
“Some of us, we knew we could win, but we were reserving our feelings and in this moment they could be released”, says Hargrove. “It’s just unbelievable.
You just want to scream at the top of your lungs: Finally. Finally.
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