On The Road To D.C. From N.Y.
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
NPR's Margot Adler has also been on a bus. This one began its journey in New York. Good morning, Margot.
MARGOT ADLER: Good morning. I'm streaming with the mobs of people down 18th Street towards the Mall. And we just came in from Rochester, New York, which I've been told is the home of Frederick Douglass, of Susan B. Anthony. Our bus was really an incredible group of people. Basically, aged 10 to 71, but I'd say 85-90 percent African-American, and firefighters, preachers, sanitation workers, nurses, people who work for the local community college. And I think what was really powerful is that many of them said, you know, we missed Dr. King, we were either too young or we didn't make it. One woman said she basically had been from South Carolina, had experienced racism, had experienced separate bathrooms, and for her this was a coming of age, a coming of - sort of almost adulthood of America.
MONTAGNE: Margot, this is something unusual, but I understand you worked to register voters in Mississippi more than 40 years ago. Did you - well, what can I say? When did you - when did you expect to see a day like this?
ADLER: I can tell you I still don't believe it. I - there's a part of me that - I was 19 years old. I worked in Mississippi in voter registration. In one month we didn't register, maybe, two people. It was - there was terror. There was horror. And I have to say that, you know, this has nothing to do even with who Obama is or whether he's going to be a good president or a bad president. But the fact is, we have erased a stain. A stain that was on our country and our Constitution. And that's what it feels like to me. That we've sort of grown up as a country.
MONTAGNE: Margot, we don't have but just a second, really. But a highlight of the trip?
ADLER: Oh, it was, what, seven hours - seven hours - it wasn't that long, and it was done without almost any traffic. It was great. And the people were in great humor.
MONTAGNE: NPR's Margot Adler, who's just gotten off the bus traveling from New York State. Thanks very much.
ADLER: You're welcome.
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