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About Witnessing History

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.


Field reports from NBC and affiliates

Watching the world change from the porch

Posted Tuesday, November 4 at 12:34 pm CT by Kari Huus
Filed under Nashville 258 comments—join the discussion


Willy Morris, 84, shares his thoughts from his porch in north Nashville, Tenn. (Jim Seida / msnbc.com)

At 84, Willy Morris has seen a lot of candidates come and go. He’s voted in a lot of elections, and seen a lot of promises made and broken. He’s not volunteering who he voted for this time, but the Nashville resident says the presence of Sen. Barack Obama on the ballot means the world has already changed.

“You had Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and they didn’t get this far,” says Morris, a retired produce worker and Army veteran. “This boy (Obama) is leading the pack.”

Although he hopes “his man” wins, he worries about any candidate who wins the presidency, especially with regard to the Iraq war, which he believes was a mistake.

But neighbor Josephine Johnson, 71, with whom Willy is sharing his porch on this sunny Election Day, isn't coy about stating that she cast her vote for Obama earlier Tuesday.


Josephine Johnson enjoys the warm weather on  Election Day . (Jim Seida / msnbc.com)

“He can’t do any worse that what we’ve had for eight years,” she says.

To be voting for a black man at this point in the election process, she says “was exciting,” but she adds:

“He’s not just for black people; he’s for all the small people. He’s a person who is able to bring about change.”


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