Harlem Brought Its Soul to Obama Victory Celebration


African-Americans Kept the Faith

Many African-Americans have been critical of Obama's pandering to other constituencies. Some have said he has ignored his roots and failed to publicly identify with the African-American community.

"He doesn't' have to speak to me as a black, but as an American," said LeBron.

But, he said, "It's commendable that he looks at the whole country –- people of color, people not of color-- are more unified. There is a different spirit and the country is more inclusive."

Spencer Gibbs, a 64-year-old African American lawyer, said he would be "elated" with four more years of Obama. "He did enormously well in the first year -- with health care, getting troops out and killing despots in the Middle East."

Victoria Stevens spent the day making more than 300 calls to voters in Ohio on behalf of Obama. The 72-year-old adult math teacher went to school in the state and was convinced her candidate would prevail.

"I was much more confident when the unemployment rate fell," she said of the dip below 8 percent this month. She worried about the impact on African Americans if Romney were elected.

Her friend, 58-year-old ConEd utility worker Marlene Robinson, has been immersed in getting power back to New Yorkers slammed by last week's superstorm, agreed.

"It would be like experiencing another Sandy," said the Fort Lee resident, also an African-American.

Inez E. Dickens, the only black woman on New York City Council who represents Harlem, said Obama had "a difficult year."

"He inherited a big deficit, waiting on the precipice -- he was not to blame," said Dickens.

"There have been highs and lows," she said. "For years, every president has tried to get healthcare and he finally got it passed. He killed Bin Laden. Teaching children to kill, that's something no country can tolerate."

When asked around 7 p.m. before any returns had come in, Dickens predicted an Obama victory. ABCNews.com asked her what if Romney were the winner, but she confidently answered, "There is no what if."

Dickens applauded Obama for creating the Affordable Health Care Act, supporting the failing auto industry and jump-starting the ailing economy.

Now, she said, "He needs to finish out what he started."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...