Hahira students witness America's progress - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hahira students witness America's progress

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

January 20, 2009

Hahira, GA (WALB) -

For the eighth graders at Hahira Middle School, the inauguration of Barack Obama couldn't have come at a more pertinent time.  In their Georgia Studies classes, the students have been studying the history of racism in America.

Eighth Grader Maddie Graham says, "Since Obama's the first African American president, we've been learning a lot about the Jim Crow Laws and how there was a lot of segregation."  Logan Jara, another eighth grader, noted, "It's never happened before. Sixty years ago, a black person couldn't walk into a restaurant, and now, they're leading the nation.  It's awesome."

Teachers say students are inspired by Obama's success.  "They see a change taking place in their lifetime," says Kenny Hutchinson, an instructor of Georgia Studies.  "What will happen in 50 or 60 more years? They're going to see remarkable things."

As Obama took his oath of office, the children's eyes remained locked on the history unfolding before them.  

"Now you get a chance to see how different people can make different things happen and how good things can come out of what seems like a bad situation," said student Anfernee Chandler.  He added that studying America's segregated history makes him proud of how far the country has moved forward.

Our new president has shown these students that in America, equality is no longer just a far-fetched dream.

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