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Audience Shares Emotional Reaction To Election Results

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Audience Shares Emotional Reaction To Election Results

Audience Shares Emotional Reaction To Election Results

Audience Shares Emotional Reaction To Election Results

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  • Transcript

In a special edition of BackTalk, members of the Tell Me More audience react to a historic presidential election and Sen. Barack Obama's victory as the first black president-elect of the United States. Hear how the win resonates personally among some voters, and why one African-American listener says racism in the U.S. is far from over.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now it's time for BackTalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the Tell Me More blogosphere and get a chance to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy is here. Lee, we made it.

LEE HILL: We made it through the week, Michel. And not only through the week, through this campaign season. Now you know, we seem to have covered just about every aspect of this presidential race. The debates, the ads, all the drama, but still I don't know if many folks and especially people of color emotionally budgeted for the reality of having a first black president of the United States. But of course not only African Americans were celebrating. We received this message from Hunter.

HUNTER (Caller): It's amazing to see it kind of unravel now in the way that it is in such a beautiful way with the election of a black person as president. It's wonderful. It brings tears to my eyes. And for all my African-American friends and family in my life, I can't even imagine how good it must feel for them as well.

MARTIN: Lee, we heard from a lot of people like Hunter, but we also heard from people like Marcus who say we cannot assume that race no longer matters in America.

MARCUS (Caller): This is an incredible moment in American history. And although I will not diminish its significance, I also will not over exaggerate its meaning in a country that remains in essence a racially divided country. I also cannot ignore the way Obama's success is somewhat reminiscent of the magic negro stereotype. You know the black guy with the magical powers that can solve problems, perform miracles and make everything alright. Make no mistake, this is a big step but there are several more steps to take.

MARTIN: I confess I had not heard about the magic negro stereotype.

HILL: I have a magic negro next door to me actually.

MARTIN: Oh, good. Can you get me a winning power ball ticket?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HILL: We'll see about that. I'll put in a request.

MARTIN: OK.

HILL: Thanks, Marcus. Well, Michel, one thing we do know, according to exit polls, many young voters kept their promise and headed to the polls. And that, says Charlie, is worth its weight in gold. She writes, for this particular generation, we've oftentimes been called unconcerned with things that are going on currently in the public space. But we really stood our ground and we stood for something and it's about time for us to write this chapter in history. She goes on to say, I'm a 30-year-old woman and this has just been phenomenal to watch unfold.

MARTIN: Thank you, Charlie. Lee, you're kind of closing it to Charlie there. So what's been the reaction among your friends?

HILL: Well, I think she put it well. So many in my crew, including myself, are still really trying to wrap our minds around what really happened this week. It seems surreal, but it's even more amazing I found out, you know, to the people we know who were older in our families who never really imagined that this day would ever come.

MARTIN: Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: If you can see, Lee, he's a little worse for wear this week. He hasn't had much sleep but you will understand why if you go to our blog. Lots of special web material from our election night and election day coverage photos, interviews and an audio slideshow. You can check it out at the Tell Me More page at npr.org and while you're there, blog it out.

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