Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

He's not just black, he's an American

He's not just black, he's an American


Inquirer staff writer Kristen A. Graham reports:

At Fitler Elementary School in Germantown, where students started the “Obama Hope Organization” to do good deeds in the new president’s name, Rachae Pringle’s fifth grade class watched the inauguration on a giant projector screen.

“They’re watching this all around the world,” Pringle told her students, who dressed in red, white and blue and brought food to school for an inauguration party. “You guys have to understand the magnitude of today.”

Jerome Brown, father of fifth grader Jerome Brown Jr., came to Fitler because he wanted to witness history with his son, who is 10. Jerome Brown Sr. folded himself into a tiny plastic chair and watched the festivities with wonder.

“I don’t have to give him the speech anymore — ‘Son, you can be anything you want to be,’” said Brown, 42. “He sees that now.”

Third grader Makalah Lawton, 9, didn’t take her eyes off the screen as the president delivered his inaugural address. When Obama mentioned “a new era of responsibility,” she clapped and cheered.

“He’s not just black; he’s an American,” said Makalah, a serious little girl who bets she’ll be the first woman president someday. “I didn’t see him in person, but I feel like he’s telling me, ‘Yes, we can.’” 

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The Inauguration: Jan. 20 blog brings you coverage of President-elect Barack Obama's transition into office.

It's written by political journalists from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Send us your comments -- and news tips -- at this address.

Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000, and has covered Harrisburg as well as city, state and national politics for the newspaper. He was a “boy on the bus” in the 2004 presidential campaign and during primary contests in 2000 and 1996.

Nathan Gorenstein has covered politics and government in the city, state and nation for the Inquirer. He's worked in the city hall bureau, had a stint on the business desk, and once covered the suburbs. After serving as assistant regional editor, he was named editor of the "Politics" web site.

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