[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/05/art.obamawinsrx.jpg caption="The crowd reacts as it is announced on television that Barack Obama has been elected the President of the United States at his election night party at Grant Park in Chicago, Tuesday night, Nov. 4, 2008."]
AC360° Freelance Producer
My eyes popped open at 7 a.m. on Wednesday to read this headline from the New York Times: "Obama. Racial barrier falls in decisive victory." I read the headline twice just to make sure.
As I emerged from my Harlem apartment building in the afternoon, I began to think about the spontaneous parade that erupted the previous night along famed 125th street. I recalled the teary eyes of many, the embrace of strangers, and the sense of something new. On election night revelers chanted, marched, danced and cheered from the state office building on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. to the world famous Apollo Theater. Blacks, whites, Asians, women, men and children rejoiced as if a heavy weight was lifted off of their shoulders. For the first time in my life, I believe I witnessed what it means to look past the color or sex of one another and unite. We often try to erase the barriers that divide us, but many times we, as a nation, fail.
Now that the celebrations have subsided, my hope for the American people is to remember the sacrifices many of our ancestors made to get us to this point. The baton is in our hands, let's not drop it.
Crazy honking, screaming and shouting on the streets in the village... Its almost 1am.
I'm at home in harlem. Happen to arrive at the same time my neighbor gov. patterson did. People are still yelling up and down the street, 125th street was packkked with people all jovial. No signs of the celebration ending anytime soon.
AC360° Guest Booker
Walking through times square-feels like a political version of new years. Crowds streaming in to middle from all different streets. Cheering. Lots of picture taking. Horns honking.
I am standing in Times Square, flanked on all sides by cheering Obama fans. The crowd roars at every line in his speech, and spontaneous chants of "Obama," break out. Police are trying to keep traffic moving. His final words, trigger the most uproarious cheer yet. Cameras everywhere as people try to capture the moment.
From my balcony in Hell's Kitchen I'm watching African American Fed Ex workers from the Fed Ex building across the street shouting with joy in the street, waving their hats.
What a juxtaposition! I'm in an Anchorage, Alaska restaurant where the McCain-Palin viewing party is taking place. Sarah Palin's lieutenant governor is here (the man who would have taken her place as governor if she won); so are other Republican officials.
At the moment the big screen TV projection was made by CNN of Barack Obama winning the race, there was silence; a certain and palpable sense of awe at the historic nature of the moment. But it lasted for a very short time. People began to ignore the TV; a GOP official spoke to the hundreds in the restaurant about the great job that all the Republican staffers and volunteers did in Alaska. And life went on.
Same in brooklyn. People were setting off fireworks from roofs in Williamsburg and young African American kids riding on bikes yelling "Obama Obama Obama".
AC360° Senior Producer
I live near Times Square and it's like New Year's Eve - music, screaming, honking car horns and people getting drunk. So much for sleep tonight!
CNN Iraq Bureau Chief
The limited Iraqi reaction I have gotten so far is a stunned one... It was a very commonly held conspiracy theory that the election was fixed and there was no way a black man would win... But even so at the end of the day thy don’t really give a s***... Iraqis are so disillusioned by America they don’t think this changes anything.
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