Editorial: History is made today

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today has been a long time coming. When America began 233 years ago, most African-Americans were slaves. Each counted as three-fifths of a citizen, the U.S. Constitution said.

The inauguration today of Barack Obama as the first African-American president represents a great leap forward for this country.

Consider the American struggles behind these terms: cotton gin, middle passage, plantation, Amistad, underground railroad, Missouri Compromise, Dred Scott case, Liberia, abolitionism, Frederick Douglass, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Harpers Ferry, Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, Harriet Tubman, Emancipation Proclamation, Reconstruction, 13th Amendment, Black Codes, Ku Klux Klan, 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, lynchings, Jim Crow, Compromise of 1877, Plessy v. Ferguson, Great Migration, race riots, Chicago Defender, Harlem Renaissance, Jesse Owens, Tuskegee experiment, integration of the armed services, Jackie Robinson, Brown v. Board of Education, segregation, Medgar Evers, Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, the projects, Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Movement, Little Rock Central High, Woolworth lunch counters, Muhammad Ali, Birmingham, boycotts, sit-ins, March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Selma, Malcolm X, affirmative action, Liberty City, Oprah Winfrey, “The Color Purple,” Gen. Colin Powell, Rodney King videotape, Million Man March, Million Woman March, Tiger Woods, Proposition 209, Hurricane Katrina, Jena 6.

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Getting to today was a difficult struggle for this country. Many sacrificed lives, liberties and their pursuits of happiness to make this nation better for future generations. Today, we honor them.