It was a wonderful night in my neighborhood after the election results came in last Tuesday. I live in the U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC -- the old center of African American culture and business. Duke Ellington was born just a couple of blocks away. Now the neighborhood is highly mixed racially, culturally, and socio-economically.
At 11 pm, when the polls in California closed, the networks all called the race for Obama. Almost instantly a huge roar went up from all quarters: people opened their windows and cheered, other poured out of the restaurants and bars and sang, total strangers hugged on the streets, and cars honked their horns. I finally went to sleep at 2 am, but the celebrations continued until 4 am or later.
Because I had to travel to California the next day, I never got a chance to put my feelings to paper. And since then, many people (from all parts of the political spectrum) have commented more eloquently than I could about the meaning of the elections. But of everything I have read and seen, perhaps nothing sums it up better than the cover of the New Yorker that arrived today: