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Published:November 5th, 2008 13:33 EST
The Whole World Celebrates America's Liberation

The Whole World Celebrates America's Liberation

By Robert Paul Reyes

Barack Obama`s general election victory was a tremendous personal vindication. About two years ago when the relatively unknown junior senator from Illinois with the funny name and the big ears announced he was running for president, his colleagues and pundits didn`t give him a chance against the vaunted Clinton machine.

But armed with a healthy ego, indefatigable hope and a sense of destiny, Obama achieved his lofty goal against all odds. Obama didn`t let his race become a liability or a chip on his shoulder, his message of hope and change transcended race and struck a chord with Americans of every ethnic and cultural background.

Obama`s triumph was a milestone for African Americans that was decades in the making. Many African Americans are old enough to remember living under Jim Crow laws, but in January they will get to witness the miracle of a black president walking through the front door of the White House.

Shortly after CNN called the election for Obama the network put up on the screen the reaction at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Witnessing the assembled throng of African Americans weeping, cheering and dancing inside the iconic symbol of the civil rights movement, was a powerful image of how much this historic moment means to them. I`m sure there were millions of Americans of all ethnicities weeping along with them as they followed the election results from their living rooms.

Now all people of color (Hispanics, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and Native Americans) know that they too can dream of becoming a lawyer, professor, scientist, senator, and yes even the President of the United States.

The Obama victory brought joy to millions worldwide, CNN had cameras in Europe, Japan and Africa, and it was thrilling to see how crowds in these countries were overjoyed at the results of the American presidential election.

As an ethnic minority it will take a few days and weeks for me to fully savor the reality of an African American president-elect. But when Obama is inaugurated in January, Americans of all races must celebrate the victory of an intelligent, eloquent and inspired statesman, who just happens to be black.