Black Achievers reflect on attending Obama's inauguration

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Brian W. Harris
For the Salisbury Post
The inauguration experience can be described with four words for members of Black Achievers who saw Barack Obama sworn into office Jan. 20 in Washington. In addition to me, those who went were Myles Byrd, Samaya Byrd and Pariis Mooney.
The following is our description and feelings about being at the inauguration:
– Happy. “It is nice to see him president because he is the first black man to be president. I hope the next time a women will be elected president. I want to be the next black president. I was happy to be there and see Obama on TV,” said Myles Byrd.
– Historic. “Seeing Obama take the oath was the most exciting part of the event. At that moment, I thought about 60 years ago, colored people were not allowed to sit or eat in white restaurants. Now, we have a black man elected as president. I was able to be part of this historic moment,” said Samaya Byrd.
– Awesome. This is my word. Once I entered the grounds between the Capitol building and Washington Monument, I was psyched. It was only 23 degrees, but at the moment Obama took the oath, I forgot about being cold. In attendance were 3.8 million people. I was lucky to be directly in front of a TV monitor to see him take the oath. It was a great opportunity; the greatest moment in my life. It was awesome.
– Mind-blowing. “Seeing the Washington Monument was exciting. The top of it seem to touch the sky. I enjoyed being surrounded by different people and talking to the people with the camera crews. It was mind-blowing,” said Pariis Mooney.
We reported our experience at a Black Achievers meeting held recently.
I gave a slide show of pictures that captured the activities of the day. Approximately 180 photographs and 10 video clips were filmed. However, only 60 of the pictures and five of the video clips were shown to ensure the presentation would not be more than 45 minutes.
The two favorite video clips were Obama taking the oath and a lady wearing 200 badges. The badges represented 200 years of waiting for a black person to be elected as president.
The favorite photograph was the crowd of people coming into the area between the Capitol building and the Washington Monument.
During the last hour we had a black history trivia session. Participants were given an opportunity to answer a trivia question. Each person answering the question correctly received an Obama T-shirt. The message on the front of the T-shirt is, “My President Is Black.”
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Brian W. Harris is a member of the Black Achievers, a group that meets monthly at the Hurley Family YMCA. For information, call the Y at 704-636-0111.