November 4th, 2008
09:12 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama fever fills Harlem

Obama headquarters in Harlem today.

Obama headquarters in Harlem today.

(CNN) - In the heart of Harlem - A 50-foot Jumbotron has been set up outside the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building. It's the first time something like this has been done here. Every time numbers come in favoring Obama, a cheer goes up from the crowd, "O-BAH-MA."

I sat in Maya Angelou's living room in a restored brownstone several blocks away earlier. She said she felt an eagerness in Harlem she hadn't felt since the 1960s. She said in recent months, you "couldn't walk the streets without people stopping you and saying isn't it exciting. Spanish people stop other people who don't speak Spanish and say isn't it a good time. Of course it's contagious. If you don't have it, you'll get it."

Longtime civil rights activist Hazel Dukes was working at a poll site earlier in the day. She said seniors in wheelchairs and walkers stood in line with first-time voters. She said 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds spoke of how proud they were that their moms were voting for Obama. Dukes, who knew Medgar Evers before he was slain while registering voters in Mississippi, said this election culminates what she and others have been working toward as civil rights leaders for the last 30 years.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • New York
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. cesar

    By the way
    Where is Jesse Jackson?

    November 4, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Miles

    I am watching CNN news coverage on the election. Its funny here we electing a black presidend and I watch CNN and most of the reporters are all white. CNN??

    November 4, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. Jane From Maine

    Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. Obama is running so our children can fly!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. LT in TX


    November 4, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Cat

    This is a wonderful reminder of the injustices just under the surface of recent history. The poll taxes and literacy tests of past elections have only recently been abolished. I am 24 years old and my mother attended a segregated school.

    Medgar Evers and other civil rights activists like him fought very recently for our right to vote. Whoever you vote for this election season, please remember that the tumultuous history of voting rights is not as far-removed as you might think. Our right to vote comes at the cost of hundreds of human lives, real people who died. Let's not take it for granted.

    November 4, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  6. Shelley

    Thought you'd like to read this.

    November 4, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. Anton-Scott Goustin

    New York was screwed by Gerald Ford in 1976. It took so long to come back from Felix Rohatyn and the liars and hustlers on Wall Street. The People–in Brooklyn, in Harlem, on the Upper East Side, on the Upper West Side, in Queens–they freakin' rock! New York City was the capital of the US in 1789! President Washington lived at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge Pearl and Dover Street! NYC is number one! Harlem is number one! Go Barack!

    November 4, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. Nick

    Well, we don't know for sure if Obama would make the best president. Hilary would've still done better, but it's over. If the people think Obama's the better democrat, then all right, I'll join them. Obama has my vote.

    Better than Old Man McCain. I mean, he's like... 8(seventy something, but close enough). I can picture it now...


    New President die of a heart attack before he finishes his inaugaration speech.

    November 4, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  9. Evelyn

    I love NY, and I love OBAMA!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. Mishell from Miami

    I hope that people don't see this election as everyone jumping on the Obama bandwagon. I want people to know that America will vote for who she feels will take care of her.

    As a veteran, I have had friends die in Iraq or take their lives when they are back in America due to PTSD. I want this war over and our troops back home. I want to see America prosper again.

    Barack Obama has given me hope.

    November 4, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. Moe

    We love Obamaaaaaaaaaaa, and we want him to be the president. he is smart and he will lead us to lead the world again and to recover from what we are in now

    November 4, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  12. DE

    Can we now call this what it really is now that 95% of blacks voted for Obama? This undoubtedly the most racist election in U.S. history.

    November 4, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  13. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th


    November 4, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. siera


    November 4, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  15. Pua, HI

    The article bringing tears to my eyes. Go Obama/Biden!
    I just think it is not correct to call Senator Obama an African American as he is of mixed race... 50% African American and 50% Caucasian.

    November 4, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. filmzilla

    now as aan african american man in my forties, i truly believe that dr king and malcolm x didn't die in vain. obama is their spawn. not only am i proud at this point to be an american but even prouder of being an african american. the obama story could've only happened in america.

    November 4, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |


    November 4, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |


    November 4, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. itsasadday

    Miles, what's your point? Jane from Maine, Obama ran, now watch our children trip and fall as the liberties we have so menjoyed will be taken away from us. We have a elected a anti-semite racist who is patriot to every country in the world but his own. He will destroy a weakened country and economy.....welcome to the world of marxism.

    I am astounded that Amercicans have become so stupid as to elect a man with no experience at anything but radicalism. We sat there and ignored his true character while listening to one lie after another. Be careful for what you wish for.....because you just got it.

    November 4, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. itsasadday


    Yes it is the most racist election ever but remember the double standard that exists in this country. It is perfectly acceptable for a black man to be racist but any mention of color out of a white man's mouth and we never hear the end of it.

    Obama has pulled one of the greatest con jobs in history. I will at least give the racist credit for that. He and his fellow democrats will single handedly destroy the greatest country in the history of mankind.....all because he hates anyone who is not the same color as him.

    November 4, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  21. Lor

    DE, I have had it with stupid, ignorant comments like yours!!! It's not being racist to vote for the candidate who will actually revive this country!!! I'm white and you can stick your BS where the sun doesn't shine...
    GO OBAMA/BIDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |