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Yes, We Really Can

By Eva Rodriguez

I cried, too, just like 18-year-old Darianne Allen, who teared up when she stepped onto the Mall after a 16-hour bus ride from Selma, Ala. "It's really real," she said.

For me, the moment came when Malia and Sasha Obama, followed by their grandmother, Mary Robinson, were shown on TV wending their way through the Capitol toward the grandstand where their dad and son-in-law would be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. The sight of these beautiful little girls and the distinguished Mrs. Robinson brought home the fact that for the first time in the country's history the White House would be occupied by a family who just a few years ago would have been barred from the lunch counters of five-and-dimes, who would have been jeered at -- or possibly worse -- had they dared to try to learn in institutions reserved for others. That they are an African American family is particularly meaningful for the country; that they are a minority family reverberates powerfully for those of us who also share a heritage unlike those of the Founders.

For us, there was never any doubt that all men and all women are created equal -- not necessarily in talent or riches but in the right to claim and work for the opportunities available in the earliest days only to those with privilege and power. For me, it took the sight of these two little girls and their grandmother to spark the idea that others may now have embraced that simple yet powerful truth.

By Eva Rodriguez  | January 20, 2009; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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I chose the word "Ready!" For the past week, I've been asking hundreds of people in DC to choose a word to represent how they feel about the inauguration of Barack Obama. I then took their portrait with the word! the words included "Proud," "Hopeful," "Skeptical," and "Angry." No one chose angry! But there were definitely some "Skeptical" people out there!! And "Curious" too.

The result is this great video/photo essay. It's really inspirational. The love for the Obamas is so moving.


The video definitely will help me remember DC's optimism and energy before everyone analyzes it to death!! --emily

Posted by: EmilyTroutman | January 21, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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