Nearly two years ago then Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced his Presidential Candidacy. Since then the American public has seen his star rise at the Democratic Convention in Denver, on Election Day, and now this stage of his journey has been completed with the Presidential Inauguration.
"His candidacy seemed to go from impossible, to improbable, and ultimately to inevitable," Michael Robinson said. "The Iowa Caucus was memorable because I felt he had a real chance at winning the Democratic nomination after winning the state. Election night made everything real. The Inauguration served as the culmination of a long hard road that had been paved by many who came before President Obama, such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson and Dr. King, to name a few."
President Obama's road to the White House has had a profound effect on people far and wide.
"My most memorable moment concerning President Obama is the election," Charles Snyder said. "The speech he gave in Chicago brought me to tears. I called my mother in the Bay Area and we reflected on our family's history and how much this very moment meant to us and to our family."
Obama being a part of this election process has united Black Americans together for a great cause, and it has also united people from all races.
"I have never been so excited and involved in a political campaign before," Neikia Boggess said. "I have voted since I turned 18 but this time there was a connection and a desire to listen to Barack Obama. I am elated to witness history taking place and a sea of many nationalities coming together in support of a better future. Everyone wants some part of this movement. It's a great feeling considering the economic state and other pitfalls our country is experiencing."
On Election Day many Blacks woke up at the crack of dawn to be one of the first in line to vote for Obama. Lines wrapped around blocks as people waited up to a few hours for the opportunity to vote for the first Black man to be nominated for President. The long waits paid off and it set the stage for a very joyous night in Black communities around the country.
"I was overwhelmed with joy and I just couldn't hold back my tears," Loren Roselynch said. "I felt a sense of pride because he broke through a lot of barriers. That gave me a lot of hope that I can be what I want to be and do what I want to do as long as I stay true to myself and stay persistent to my goals. Then when I saw him today on TV, he's just so graceful at what he does. He sets such a good example for young African Americans, and I want to be more like him."
Negative stereotypes about Black Americans can now begin to be torn down because President Obama has proved that Black Americans can become anything that they want to become.
"As a black man President Obama has impacted me by the sheer virtue that people can now see me as a man rather than the stereotypical views that they have held about black men for ages," Phillip Graham said. "It's a sense of freedom and relief."
President Obama has proven that a Black person can reach as high as anybody else can in this country.
"I believe President Obama's election has made it a little bit easier to be black in America," Robinson said. "The duality that DuBois discussed in "The Souls of Black Folk" can be a difficult balancing act at times and President Obama's election should help to ease that burden. I also believe his election has sparked a renewed sense of community activism, participation in the political process and general interest in government."
Throughout this election process President Obama has given this country a sense of pride and unity that was missing.
"My feelings toward the country and community are of strong pride," Snyder said. "Today in one graceful swoop my patriotism and love for my countrymen, no matter the ethnicity, has been renewed. As far as our community, I just have one statement: see what we can do when we unite. We're powerful in unity. Just like the generations before with the Underground Railroad, Southern Leadership Christian Conference, and so on and so forth. When we unite, change happens."
The journey is not close to being over.
"From here we need to come together as Nation and really fix our internal hatreds that remain, economic disparities and our education system so that we can truly be the great nation that we can be," Graham said.
The change must come from within first if this country is going to the true world leader.
"I believe we need to focus on remaking America, as the President stated in his address," Robinson said. "That includes, reforming public education, healthcare, rebuilding our reputation abroad, ending the wars and addressing the economic crisis. In short, we need to be about the business of cleaning up our own house (America) before trying to clean up someone else's abroad."