To some, Obama inauguration triumph

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

President-elect Barack Obama enters the history books today as the country’s first black president.

To members of the black community in Clovis, Obama’s historic inauguration is a product of the struggles for civil rights.

William Hall, who organizes the city’s Juneteenth celebration, said he views Obama’s inauguration as a fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision.

“It shows me that God brought him along at the right time,” he said. “I think he’ll do a real good job.”

He said Obama serves as a role model to younger generations that race doesn’t matter as much as the content of their character.

“If you do things right, get an education, there’s no limit to what you can become,” he said.

Ira Pottard, 86, said he didn’t think that he would see a black president until later in his life. Today, he plans to sit in front of his television screen to watch the historic inauguration.

“I always hoped it would be (possible),” said Pottard, the last surviving member of a segregated Army unit in World War II known as the Buffalo Soldiers.

To celebrate the inauguration, the American Legion Post 117 will host a party around 5:30 p.m., according Post official Doug Hunt.

Clovis High School senior Natasha Beachum said she is excited about Obama’s inauguration.

“You don’t always get to live through something as historic as this,” said Beachum, a member of the Clovis NAACP youth council. “It kind of shows how far the country has come.”