Oklahomans React To Obama's Victory

Wednesday, November 5th 2008, 5:44 pm
By: News On 6

By Latoya Silmon, The News On 6

UNDATED -- It's history in the making.  Barack Obama will be the nation's first black president.  It's a groundbreaking feat that many African Americans say they never thought would happen.

The day after the election has some in the African American community pinching themselves to make sure it's all real.  A huge glass ceiling has been shattered and they say that's something every American should be proud of.

After nearly two years of campaigning, Democrat Barack Obama will be the first black president of the United States.

From Tulsa to Oklahoma City, his supporters were overcome with joy and many were brought to tears.  John Stephens says President-elect Obama makes him proud.

"Not to be just a man of color, but the human race today has changed.  This is beautiful," said John Stephens.

Especially since many in the black community still remember a time when the country was very different.

"I have seen segregation since the moment I could remember.  I was born in Preston, Oklahoma, near Okmulgee. Black on one side of the railroad tracks.  Whites on the other," said Tulsan Eddie Faye Gates.

Eddie Faye Gates was born in 1934 and, despite going on to college and earning several degrees, she says the roadblocks of racism were everywhere.

"The big rock has been moved away, but we're not going just have a bed of joy right away," said Tulsan Eddie Faye Gates.

She says Obama's victory doesn't mean the battle against bigotry and hatred is over, but like other Obama supporters she says it's a big step in the right direction.

President-elect Barack Obama is spending the week at home in Chicago getting ready for the transition to the White House.