Poignant night for older African Americans - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Poignant night for older African Americans

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

November 4, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It was an emotional night for many people as they watch the numbers come in this historic presidential race.

It is an especially poignant time for older African Americans who lived through segregation, and now lived to see the country elect our first black president.

One primarily African American church in Albany held an election night celebration for the first time.

The New Greater Grace Church on Westover Boulevard threw the bash for the community.

A majority of the congregation were in support of President-elect Barack Obama.

One of the most interesting conversations was with 80 year old Leon Modeste.

Modeste said he walked side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, and was part of the Segregated Navy in World War Two.

He said he never thought he'd see this day.

"I never in my wildest dream did I think that an African American would even be considered let alone get this close to the presidency I figured maybe my grand children or something." said Leon Modeste, Community Outreach Ministry.

"We're not necessarily all Obama or all McCain, we're just here to celebrate the victory that god is going to allow to happen tonight," said Stephen Stallworth, Pastor.

Now this was truly a community event the youngsters hand a hand in this, as the adults marked off who won what state and were counting the electoral votes like we are, the kids started to color in the U-S map as the respective candidates won.

Modeste said Obama, made him very proud.

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