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A Dream Comes True, With a Little Magic Thrown In: 'Maybe America Has Really Changed'

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D.C. residents rejoice after hearing that Senator Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America. Video by Pierre Kattar/washingtonpost.com

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By Courtland Milloy
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obamacans, parade rest.

Obamaites, stand down.

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White America, at ease.

Black America, fall out.

The presidential war of 2008 is over. We won. Take a breather. America has a new commander in chief: a black man.

Prayer warriors, stay alert.

A spiritual revival is underway in this big tent of a nation. It's a lift-every-voice-and-sing moment, a time of chill bumps and warm hearts.

With the colors of states on national TV turning from red to blue, the racial mapping of my mind is simultaneously redrawn. Old lines of demarcation are being erased, new markings made based on recent sightings:

All along U Street, part of the African American Heritage Trail, a diverse sea of humanity spilling into the streets in jubilation. Barack Obama being cheered at Grant Park in Chicago by blacks and whites as if for a hometown team in the Super Bowl.

"Is there anybody out there who still doubts that in America all things are possible?" President-elect Obama asked. "This is your answer."

Obama supporters in my Fort Washington neighborhood began storming the voting precincts at sunup yesterday, some waiting for more than two hours to vote. It didn't take that long for me to enter the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. But, people, this is no fairy tale.

Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed that people would not be judged by their color but by the content of their character, and "to me, it's like King's dream becoming reality," said James Isley Sr., 56, a retired D.C. government employee.


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