November 4th, 2008
04:59 PM ET
6 years ago

African-Americans note symbolism of UCLA voting

UCLA student David Eaton, 25, checks his ballot after voting.
UCLA student David Eaton, 25, checks his ballot after voting.

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) – The historical significance of Tuesday's presidential election has a more poignant meaning for African-American students on the campus of UCLA, where polling began at 10a ET.

Voter turnout is heavy and lines were robust. Campus officials said more than 8,000 new registered voters were expected to turn out among the 30,000-plus student body population.

UCLA is where Ralph Johnson Bunche earned a bachelor's degree and became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. Legendary hall of fame baseball great Jackie Robinson graduated from here and went on to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley was a scholar-athlete here.

Junior Rebecca Aladdin was overwhelmed with emotion because she grew up like Robinson in Pasadena, California, and went to the same middle school as him.

"I am the first one in my family to vote today and it brought me to tears placing my ballot in the box," Alladin said.

She credited her great-grandparents and civil rights pioneers like Robinson and other UCLA predecessors for providing the path toward racial equality in a presidential race.

"This is a moment that brings us closer to that chapter in American history."


Filed under: 2008 Election
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. steve

    you talk about unification these new voters are a disgrace to America. how come you never voted before? get out and serve your duty as an American and educate yourselves. good luck USA

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Fay

    I couldn't agree more! I am a 24 yr. old black American and I have been brought to tears all day because I'm just starting to realize how far we have come as AMERICANS in history. 40 years ago my grandparents would have never thought that they would have lived to see this and they are both alive today and voted for Barack! This is a time of hope and change not just for black America but all of America! Today I am truly proud to be an American!

    November 4, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Gina in Elma

    This truly is a very historic election. For the first time in history, people are voting for a candidate NOT for what they stand for, not because of their party line, but because of the color of their skin.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. kim

    I was moved to tears when I placed my vote for Obama this morning as I remembered how as a child I once told my mother that I wanted to be any astronaut only to be told that little black girls could not be astronauts. I cried because there will never again be a dream crushed because of the color of their skin. Thank you Obama for the audacity of hope.

    November 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Janet

    I am a Canadian student, and today on Campus I saw about a half a dozen "Obama 08" t-shirts.
    Frankly, I am jealous that as a Canadian we did not have that same enthusasim that the Americans do in this election.
    Never in Canada during my time as a voter have I seen line-ups blocks long. It shows that Americans are craving for a change, yerning for something different then what it has been served up for the past 8 years.

    This election has shown the Democratic process at it's finest. This is YOUR "finest hour."

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. nathan clatfelter

    as a 22 year old white male in the military, my choice for obama doesnt exactly fit my demographic. in my mind it was the perfect decision for change in a struggling nation.

    November 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. Trying to keep up, Is a small town in California Pro or Anti American?

    As a white woman who has been active with civil rights of those living in this wonderful country, today is a remarkable day. Too see not only a black man running for president, but this man running for president.., win or lose and I pray he wins I think people are less afraid and more accepting then they have ever been in this country. He is the bridge to bring us together.

    November 4, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. ace

    Mark, you're right but that statement refers to the President's immediately previous position and for LBJ it was VP, not congressman or senator.

    November 4, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. SecondSage

    Dense dense dense, I tell you.

    LBJ was not a SITTING Senator when he was elected or sworn in..He was VP when sworn in and incumbent when elected. Kennedy was a SITTING senator when elected like Obama and McCain

    Quit nit pickin and get a clue!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. NJ

    RACE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS RACE. YOU VOTE FOR THE

    CANDIDATE THAT AGREES WITH YOUR IDEOLOGY. WHO CARES

    THAT OBAMA IS HALF BLACK. HE WAS RAISED BY HIS WHITE SIDE

    OF THE FAMILY. HIS FATHER ABANDONED HIM AND HIS MOTHER.

    THANK GOD FOR HIS MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS THEY SHOULD

    GET ALL THE CREDIT...

    November 4, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. GARY

    YOU NAIVE MORONS THAT VOTE FOR MCCAIN BETTER HOPE YOU DEMS. WASN'T INVOLVED NOT SENDING MILITARY THEIR BALLOTS IN TIME.TRYING TO SCAM AND CAUSE MCCAIN'S VOTES NOT TO COUNT. YOU R CANIDATE HAS NOTHING BUT CAUSED HATE AND FRAUD THROUGH THIS WHOLE ELECTION RACE. HE IS NOTHING BUT A CHICAGO CON MAN.THIS COUNTRY IS HEADED FOR THE BIGGEST DISASTER IF LITTLE BOY OBAMA GETS ELECTED.

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Jennifer

    As I watch this day unfold, I'm reminded of the comment made at the Republican National Convention by Rudy Guilliani where he said in his comparison of the candidates that "He [Obama] worked as a community organizer. What?" Perhaps now Rudy and his Republican counterparts understand exactly how important that can be! Sure, it may not look impressive on a "resume", but it surely looks impressive when operationalized. I'm so proud to witness how Obama motivated an entire nation to do the RIGHT thing! Now THAT'S COMMUNITY!

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Tim from Barrie

    This election is historic because of what it is....a presidential election. People and or the media can put whatever spin they choose, to glorify the election based on race or religious beliefs or terrorism. That's the beauty of a democratic society. Say and believe in whatever spin you want America, just get out and vote to make the past 8 years a part of history that nobody wants to remember!

    November 4, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. TJ - In Canada

    I am really hoping for a clean win for Mr. Obama. I think is it about time that people in the US had a sense of hope and a truly clean slate. All Americans have been through alot the past eight years. It's time to turn a new leaf and bring "THE" people together.

    November 4, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    The record number of new voters in this country as well as the voter turn out is incredible. It is a shame that it took the historical moment of having a black Presidential candidate to make people in our country come forward and want to vote. The right to vote and have your voice heard is a privilege which none of us should ever take for granted. If Senator Obama has done nothing else, he has generated the desire in the American people to have their voices heard no matter what their background or race.

    November 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. From Virginia

    Wow!!! What a couple of years we have had. I teach VA and US Government, which is for 12th graders. The NEW ELECORATE. I only hope when we return tomorrow, they will all be as excited as I am for them. They know they have the power in their hands for the first time in their lives. To the new electorate...Thank you for excercising your natural right to choose.
    Race is an issue. This is part of the solution people. Admit you have racism in your bones and we can all begin to heal. I voted my gender in the primary. However, I am a Democrat and I vote social issues. Poverty, equality for women and protecting her right to choose and Civil Rights for every person whether you are an Amercican, white, black, woman, or man.
    We need to dicuss race in order to heal. If you voted against Obama because he is black, I extend my hand to you so we can talk. If we can not do it, how do we expect our Congressional leaders to act in a bipartisan manner?

    Thank you to everyone who voted today. Thank you for finding your voice no matter which candidate you selected.

    November 4, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. patrick

    I am a true Clinton supporter and was saddened when she did not get the nomination. I contributed to the McCain and Palin campaign immediately after Palin was introduced......then I heard her speak and I started slowly warming up to the idea of Barack Obama as our leader. I proudly voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden today and I know deep down that they will be great leaders for America. Mr. Obama is a brilliant, articulate, real, Leader. I truly am proud of America again. Obama/Biden 2016!

    November 4, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. julie

    I am proud of those waiting in line, I remember when the election in South Africa people were in line 2 – 3 days. They may have also taken a day to walk to the polling place. We as Americans, with the world watching, should do no less. I am proud of the way first time voters are engaged in the process and looking towards the future.

    November 4, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th

    THIS IS AMERICA, VOTE YOUR CHOICE, THE BEST CHOICE FOR ME IS BARACK OBAMA, IF ANYONE DIDN'T VOTE TODAY BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THE DATE WAS CHANGED TO THE FIFTH, THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO VOTE ON THE FIFTH. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    November 4, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. David

    Barrack Obama is the AMERICAN DREAM–not only for America–but for the entire world. Good always prevails.

    November 4, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  21. Lor

    Patrick, I am genuinely proud of you for your character. I really like what you wrote and how you came to the intelligent conclusion that Obama is worth voting for!! I wish there were more people out there who looked at this election as you do. :)
    Go Obama/Biden 08!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  22. gl, Pittsburgh

    I guest Ohio still have over 50 percent of stupid racist uneducated people. McCain is winning in Ohio.

    November 4, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  23. matanglawin

    go mc_cain, palin for 2012

    November 4, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. rickoalvarez

    we better open our eyes and see the light MR>OBAMA , is the light at the end of the tunnel , where hope is other wise we will keep going down the drain with the same peoples gwb and jhon mccain .

    November 4, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Anonyomous in VA

    I served our country several years in the United States Army both at home and overseas. I cannot imagine having as my Commander-and-Chief a President with no prior military experience and serving under such a person while in the service! I also can't respect someone who will not salute our flag or place his hand on his heart when the pledge is recited or the Star Spangled Banner is played. His wife even stated that she hated Americans!! He was sworn into office using a Koran Bible! I could go on and on with more!! I can only pray for this man and hope that God and the Holy Spirit will work in his heart if he is elected to do the right things for our country, Americans and to keep our nation-One Nation Under God upon which it was founded!

    November 4, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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