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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

L.A. voters line up 'to be a part of history'

Posted Tuesday, November 4 at 12:11 pm CT by msnbc.com
Filed under Field correspondents 9 comments—join the discussion

LOS ANGELES – It was before dawn as a crowd of African-American voters began lining up outside the auditorium of Audubon Middle School in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. There was no doubt about how they'd cast their ballots.

"If you're voting for McCain, you're in the wrong line," joked one man.

"This is huge. People want to be a part of history," said Gerald Washington, who arrived at 4:45 a.m. so he could be among the first in line to vote. 

Nationally, polls predict that 90 percent of the African-American vote will go for Sen. Barack Obama, and that's also true in Los Angeles.

"It's beautiful," said Sharon Jones, "Sunday, we changed our clocks back, and today we're going to change the world."

However, some things don't change in the City of Angels. There was plenty of traffic congestion around the polling place and a lack of parking spaces.

Local voting officials were predicting an 80 percent turnout in Los Angeles County, about 3.5 million voters.

Inside the auditorium, where two voting precincts had been combined due to local budget cutbacks, there was a bit of confusion about who should stand in which line.

But it didn't dampen the festive mood. When the first voters left the auditorium, people cheered.

And as he departed for work, early-bird Gerald Washington said, "This is a great day for America."

-- George Lewis, NBC News correspondent


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