Crowd erupts in cheers, tears

The crowd gathered at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center watch party became incredibly loud and emotional when Obama was predicted to win the election by CNN. They grew quite as John McCain gave his concession speech.

Students cried, called family and friends and took photos of the projector screen showing what many had feared would not happen. The same statements could be overheard from several of those attending: “We made history.” “I’m still waiting for Missouri.” “This is a new era.”

Here are some of the thoughts of those gathered:

Nathan Stephens, director of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center: “This is the dream of slaves. The dream of Martin Luther King Jr. That a man would be judged by the content of his character rather than for the color of his skin. He proved he could lead the nation through these tumultuous times and that together we can change America back into the powerhouse it once was. My mother told me a few months ago that she never thought this would happen in her lifetime. I went vote with her this morning. I have a 6-year-old, and I can now tell him, ‘Yes, in your lifetime. Yes, in your lifetime.'”

Larita Emanuel: Before McCain conceded, Emanuel remained cautiously optimistic as those around her grew ecstatic. She said she wasn’t nervous throughout the night but was suprised that election was called so soon. “I think the election has already had an impact based on the number of people who voted and the excitement surrounding the election. It has brought about renewed energy and hope in this country. It’s amazing to see what we can do when we all come together.”

Courtney Robinson: Robinson, a native of Chicago, said she was just speechless. She had planned to stay awake until 3 a.m. to get the results. “I became so nervous, I almost didn’t want to watch. I was hoping that the results would be called so soon but didn’t think they would.”

Columbia Missourian

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