ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It was a day many thought they would never live to see. "Not in this lifetime did I think this could happen, would happen," said Civil Rights Leader, Charles Sherrod.
"This is a major day. It was a long time coming. It's as if everything they fought for, everything they went to jail for came to realization. The dream has been realized," said Mt. Zion Baptist Church Senior Pastor, Daniel Simmons.
1961 was the year Barack Obama was born; the same year 71-year-old Charles Sherrod moved to Albany and marched hoping to make a change. "I thought perhaps we could have a black congressman and that was what I was working toward," said Sherrod.
"I would follow them and the streets would be full of demonstrators from the church to the bus station," said Newsome.
Daisy Newsome is 103-years-old, but remembers when Martin Luther King called for equality among all. "I sat there and watched TV. And I watched the news like I was going to everyday school and listen to Martin Luther King."
47-years later Americans of all backgrounds came together to vote the first African-American into the White House. "When you looked out in Grant Park the crowd that was there supporting Obama, it was so diverse.
You practically, as they scanned the audience, had every nationality. You had laborers all the way up to Oprah Winfrey with all of her money gathered in one place," said Simmons.
"This is a good time to be alive. I believe everybody feels that," said Sherrod. Because Barack Obama's victory proved the blood, sweat and tears shed during the Civil Rights Movement were not in vain.
Barack Obama's election into the White House comes 45 years after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his I have a dream speech and 40 years after King's death.