Black Americans celebrate Obama's victory

Wed Nov 5, 2008 3:39am EST
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By Matthew Bigg

ATLANTA (Reuters) - In churches and bars, on the street and in their homes, African Americans celebrated Barack Obama's historic presidential election victory on Tuesday with tears, horn blasts and shouts of joy.

In New York, people of all races streamed down from Broadway from Columbia University to Obama's campaign office at 105th Street chanting "O-ba-ma."

Obama supporters drove through the streets of downtown Washington for hours, honking their horns and cheering. A crowd of several hundred people gathered outside the gates of the White House in the drizzle, beating a drum.

In Atlanta, at civil rights leader Martin Luther King's old church, Ebenezer Baptist, a deafening shout greeted the announcement of Obama's victory and rolled on for minutes.

"On the night before King was assassinated, he said: 'I have been to the mountain top, I have looked over and I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you,'" Pastor Raphael Warnock said.

"Tonight we have seized the promise of America."

And in Chicago's Grant Park, Rev. Jesse Jackson stood among a crowd of tens of thousands of Obama supporters with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Jackson, who twice sought the presidency himself, witnessed King's assassination in Memphis 40 years ago.   Continued...

<p>Jackie and Thomas Wilson begin to cry after the announcement that Senator Barack Obama had been elected the first black president as Val Rice celebrates while waiting for the results at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, November 4, 2008. REUTERS/Tami Chappell</p>