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As Barack Obama became the first black candidate to win the nation’s highest elected office, msnbc.com was on hand to document the thoughts and emotions of members of three generations of African-Americans. Click on the photos below to read a specific thread, or on the NBC logo to read field reports on the role of race in the election. Or you can scan the posts at right to read them in chronological order.

Validus Prep students

Students at Validus Prep, the Bronx, N.Y.

Tammy Baker

Tammy Baker, office worker, Nashville, Tenn.

Henry McGee Jr.

Henry McGee Jr., law professor, Seattle, Wa.

Correspondent

Field reports from NBC and affiliates

Glued to the news

Posted Tuesday, November 4 at 11:31 am CT by Kari Huus
Filed under Nashville 0 comments—join the discussion

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Nashville resident Tammy Baker is anticipating a long night of watching election returns.  (Jim Seida / msnbc.com)

For Tammy Baker, Election Day is all about multitasking. She’s putting in a full -- and stressful -- day at her job as an account manager with a health care company in central Nashville, but she ill have one ear on her radio at the same time and be checking her favorite Internet sites for the latest political and voting news throughout the day.

Before even arriving at work, Baker was on the phone comparing notes with friends and family members. A friend in Louisville, Ky. told her that voters at one polling station there were told to come back later because the voting machines were down.

Baker, who was the subject of an earlier profile by msnbc.com, is adamant that she did not vote for Sen. Barack Obama because he is black. Her first choice in the primary was Hillary Clinton -- and she’s frankly quite peeved with readers who suggest that is the case.

“For years blacks have voted for Democrats who all were white. Nobody questioned that decision,” she says. “Now the Democratic candidate is black and we’re told we’re only voting for him because he’s black

“Don’t insult my intelligence” she adds.

Nonetheless, having an African-American in the running as a major party presidential candidate has made the race a riveting one for Baker. And given problems that tainted recent elections, she is taking nothing for granted. She thinks Election Night is going to be a long one, and may not even be conclusive despite polls that show Obama with a solid lead in key states.

“You want to believe in polls,” she says. “But until they release the final count I won’t believe it — uh-uh. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet.”

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