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Obama Celebration in Brooklyn

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Obama Celebration in Brooklyn

A crazed chorus of “Obamaaaaaaaa! Obamaaaaaa! Woooooooo! Screeeetch!” erupted outside my window last night on Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus. The sounds of an impromptu street celebration successfully usurped the quiet of the mild autumn evening. I walked out from my room to see what was going on:

Black girls were jumping up and down screeching, with bright white teeth shinning behind huge smiles; African American boys were shaking their fist in the air in victory; and an all out melee was quickly overtaking the Brooklyn streets. A more genuine excitement I am unsure if I have ever witnessed. These people were happy.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Brooklyn, New York City- November 5, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos

Something was going on here. I have never known a presidential election in the USA to cause this much excitement and an all out show of faith in the system. These people really believed in this stuff. They really believed the ability of their new leader and that he can initiate change and make their lives better.

Symbols can bring hope. If Obama being the president can bring hope to a society that has traditionally felt beaten down, then good on them. Yes, a multi-racial man who has an African father can become president. It has been shown. As I witnessed the joy emitting from the mostly African American crowd in front of me, it was clear that the symbolism of this election meant something real. Something has been changed – at least symbolically – in America.

The USA is one of the least racist country that I have ever been in. I am glad that this has been so thoroughly shown by this election.

The people who crowded in the streets were feeling something that they has long laid dormant: hope. Dekalb Avenue was flooded with people jumping for joy as traffic came to a halt and masses of people swept across Brooklyn in a sea of victory. It was an all out celebration. The people in the streets jumped for joy about the dawning of a new day and the word “Obama” was on everybody’s lips.


Cars were honking, fireworks were going off, and everybody was running wild. I was in the middle of a mirthful riot.

I stood in the crowd and watched as a spectator. I have a really difficult time relating to the people of the USA, and I care little for their politics. But I must admit that my cynicism dissolved a little as I watched the crowd fully revel in the thrill of having a new leader. This seems like an odd thing to revel in, but I have never known Americans to believe in much of anything en-mass, and this fact alone was something special to observe. Smiling faces are contagious, and I, too, felt a slight tinge of hope.

Hope. Today, a large portion of the American population is riveted by a new found sense of hope, and another large portion is reveling in despair. The tables have been turned.

One extreme lead to its seeming opposite.


At least I do not have to listen to people complaining about Bush anymore.

Related Pages:
Photo of Obama

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Code Pink Female Acivists Washington DC
  • Travel Questions
  • Taliban in Ecuador
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Filed under: New York City, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3136 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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