Delaware group has front row seat to U.S. history, twice
For the second time, a minority business networking group headed from Wilmington to Washington, D.C., to watch the swearing in of the president and a favored son. At the public ceremony Monday, they encountered a crowd estimated at about a million poeple, roughly half the size of the group faced four years ago.
The business networking group, Delawareblack.com loaded on to busses at the unseemly hour of 4am. One of those who joined the trip was Newsworks.org photo-journalist Kim Paynter. She took in the sights and sounds of the streets in the nation's capitol. She spoke to many of those on the bus ride about their expectations of the day, along with their excitement about having a front row seat. There was something extra special about watching the country's first black president and representing the state of the sitting vice-president, Joe Biden.
"They said he'd be a lame duck, but our support will push him forward," said Robin Goldsborough at RFK Stadium Monday before heading to Capital Hill to the the second inaugural celebration for President Barack Obama. Goldsborough, wearing a scarf that she'd ironed an the Obama sun logo onto, was joined by her son and about a hundred other decorated Delawareans on an inauguration bus trip organized by Delawareblack.com, an organization that aims to connect and build African American businesses in Wilmington and other U.S. cities.
Delawareblack.com founder Leonard Young felt that he missed an important opportunity in 2009 to bond with the Wilmington community. Young said that although there's definitely been economic hardship in the country during the first four years of his presidency, Obama is a role model for the minority community. He hopes that the next four years will bring more team cooperation between parties in Washington. "You can't have the offense working and the defense giving up points," he said.
Sharon Clark, administrative assistant for Delawareblack.com, also hopes for more bipartisan effort in the future. She's noticed that people in her community who were once complacent have shifted their mindset because of the President. "They see, yeah, we can take the highest seat in the country."
"The important thing is for us to focus on our young people. The only way to build our nation up is to focus on those who are coming up to build it," said Delawareblack.com community relations manager Dee Cephas. In 2009 she attended the inauguration with students ages 13-21. Some of those have spent the past four years producing "From the Field to the Hill. Delaware's Journey," a documentary with Blackbutterly Enterprises and 21st Century Village about civil rights in Delaware. The film features footage from the first inauguration trip, and Cephas describes it as a discussion on the progress made over the past forty years. "We're in an era of history," she said, "it's very important for people to take part in this and take all the energy back home and what this means for our future."