Barack Obama's historic presidential victory is echoing throughout the black community. In our area, African American's young and old say he has achieved the ultimate title once thought impossible for a black man. “I'm ecstatic. I'm in awe, and I'm grateful,” said Bertha Todd, a school teacher.> Harold Beatty, president of the New Hanover chapter of the NAACP is also very excited. “I am elated that I have lived long enough to see this historic moment.” Many African-Americans across our area are rejoicing. Barack Obama is the first black president-elect of the United States. At 79 years old, Bertha Todd lived through an era when blacks had limited opportunity. She remembers when blacks had to fight for their equal rights. Obama's victory is a sign that the fight is being won. “Those shoulders on whom he is standing now certainly had a very decisive impact on the fact that this young man is now the leader of the United States.” UNCW political science professor and Wilmington City Council member Earl Sheridan believes blacks took notice of Obama when he won the Iowa caucus. “I think black people thought this guy might have a chance to win, and I think that is when people began to get on board.” Young people like UNCW student Tamara Cuffee have been instrumental in Obama's road to the Whitehouse. Cuffee said young people, like her, have a renewed hope in their futures. “It affects my generation because now, every black female and male can say you can do it, and I like that. For a long time I didn't think that was going to happen, and now that it is, you are going to see a lot more of us.” Barack Obama will be sworn in as president in January.
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