Saturday, January 05, 2008

Daring to Believe, Blacks Savor Obama Victory

Here's the front-page NYT article today that captures why and how quickly the black vote is shifting:

How Mr. Obama’s early triumph will play out in the presidential contest remains to be seen, and his support among blacks is hardly monolithic.

But in dozens of interviews on Friday from suburbs of Houston to towns outside Chicago and rural byways near Birmingham, Ala., African-Americans voiced pride and amazement over his victory on Thursday and the message it sent, even if they were not planning to vote for him or were skeptical that he could win in November.

“My goodness, has it ever happened before, a black man, in our life, in our country?” asked Edith Lambert, 60, a graduate student in theology who was having lunch at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston.

“It makes me feel proud that at a time when so many things are going wrong in the world that people can rise above past errors,” added Ms. Lambert, who said she had not decided whom to vote for. “It shows that people aren’t thinking small. They’re thinking large, outside the box.”

Other black presidential candidates, like Shirley A. Chisholm and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, have excited voters in the past. Mr. Jackson won primaries in 1984 and 1988.

Over and over, blacks said Mr. Obama’s achievement in Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state, made him seem a viable crossover candidate, a fresh face with the first real shot at capturing a major party nomination.

Daring to Believe, Blacks Savor Obama Victory
Published: January 5, 2008

For Sadou Brown in a Los Angeles suburb, the decisive victory of Senator Barack Obama in Iowa was a moment to show his 14-year-old son what is possible.


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