It was 45 years ago on Aug. 28, 1963 in Washington D.C., when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. One of the most familiar excerpts from his address was, “I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they will not be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Well, in spite of the many challenges and inequalities African-Americans face, the election of Senator Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America has brought us one step closer to that dream becoming a reality. I believe President-elect Obama’s win will inspire our community and current generations to get more involved in the political system as we take on the obstacles in our community. I am truly grateful to be alive to witness what some historians may one day call the greatest story in the world.
Rev. Ira Acree
Greater St. John
Man, listen. I was trying to do an interview and the room just kind of erupted with Ohio coming in. We’re coming down victory lane right now.
State Rep. (78th Dist.)
It’s the most incredible thing that has happened to this country since the abolition movement. Children can grow up with the feeling that if they have the aptitude and the attitude that they can achieve beyond their limits. That has always been the promise of America, and we’re seeing that promise becoming actualized for millions of Americans who have never felt that way before. I always thought that it would happen because I’ve always been an optimistic person and I believe that all things are possible. But did I think it would happen on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008? I can’t say that I could have predicated it so precisely. And it’s great to know that there are so many people living and in death who helped make this happen. This didn’t happen over night. It came after years and years and years of struggle.
U.S. Rep. 7th
I never thought I’d see it. That wasn’t even in the thought process as a little girl. When you look America and all the barriers of racism, it’s made very clear to you that there are certain positions not in your reach. But to have its pinnacle position held by a black man, it’s shocking. We’ve never experienced this before. You can see it in peoples’ eyes when they come into the store. Now the question is; how can we move forward with this excitement? The energy doesn’t have to disappear. It shouldn’t.
I’m excited and nervous and shocked. I’m very optimistic. This means everything to me. It’s like a warm fuzzy. I can’t stop smiling. He is a colleague I’ve served with (in the state senate). A friend. He took me right in. I looked up to him.
Yes, there is something special about him. He is at ease. Confident. A down-to-earth guy. A good husband and father.
It sounds so good to know we’ll have a president focused on public education, on fixing public education. He will allow a child to get a quality public school education.
I remember when I lived in the south (Mississippi) when my father and mother could not vote because black people could not vote. Attempting to vote could get you killed. Now we can vote. America has could a long way, and I am so proud about all of us having the right to vote. I am happy and blessed to be able to live to see Barack Obama elected president of the United States of America.
Emma Truss, Austin resident and elder