Multi-racial crowd overflows Grant Park

They came from all over Chicago, and from all over the country, to be here, in Chicago, to witness history. Hundreds of thousands of revelers came to Chicago to be a part of the celebration, some on the scene as early as noon Tuesday for a celebration tha

They came from all over Chicago, and from all over the country, to be here, in Chicago, to witness history.

Hundreds of thousands of revelers came to Chicago to be a part of the celebration, some on the scene as early as noon Tuesday for a celebration that was not supposed to start until 8:30 p.m.

“I remember when Blacks could not vote and to see a Black man elected president is worth coming down here for,” said Sherry Brown, 61, from Chicago. “I may not get this chance again in my lifetime to see a Black man elected president so I wanted to see it while I can.”

Lines of people were about seven deep and nearly a mile long to enter the park, but even more thousands were lining Michigan Avenue, just outside of where the rally was to be held. Some in the crowd waved American flags and there was a sea of flashing lights from cameras of all types.

Each time CNN made a projection of a state’s winner, the crowd went wild if it favored Obama, and loud “boos” filled the air if the projection was positively for McCain.

Lisa Tademan, 50, from north suburban Gurnee was among the revelers.

“I will always cherish this day because I can say I was here in Chicago when our country elected the first Black president,” she said.

“I came to America 10 years ago because I heard this was the place where success can be found, and with the election of Barack Obama as the first Black president of the United States, it proves that anyone can achieve success if they desire it,” said Andrea Tichoski, 38, an immigrant from Bulgaria.

“I wanted to be here tonight so that I can make history come alive with my presence,” said Damon Rucker, 22. “I cried all the way here, and I plan to cry all the way home after Obama wins.”

“I agree with his platform to change the health care policy and the economy,” said Leslie Baker- Kimmons.

“I am down here tonight to be a part of history, and even if Barack Obama was white, I would have still voted for him,” said the 35-year-old Black woman.

“I came here from New York to witness the excitement for myself,” said Michael Thomas, 44, a white man from New York. “I wanted to be here. I needed to be here. Tomorrow is not history, but tonight is.”

“This is a history making experience and it means something different to each person that’s out here,” said Megan Bae, whose from Chicago. “For most of us though, we are here to support our candidate.”

“This was the first time I voted. I have spent the last 21 years in prison,” said Anthony Kennedy, 38. “Now I know what it feels like to be on the right side of the law. It feels real good to know my folks helped elect the first Black president.”

“I am here with my great grandkids so they can see that racism no longer exists in America,” said Bobbie Bellman, 64.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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