This morning, I played reporter. Normally, as a topical journalist, I gather information on things, make them into something readable and send them along to post without much fanfare. But this morning, at the behest of both HuffingtonPost.com and Examiner.com, I attended an inaugural event to give readers a play-by-play of what I witnessed first-hand.
A group of people gather at a Sacramento neighborhood gallery to watch the 44th President of the United States and first African American Commander-in-Chief sworn into office. Founded in 2004, the gallery, dubbed “40 Acres” (as in the historical promise of “40 acres and a mule” for freed slaves) is situated in a ethnically diverse neighborhood nestled within the state capital. The walls of the gallery are teeming with outstanding examples of African- American and minority art as part of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s St. Hope Foundation.
Making it there by 8 am, I was grateful for coffee and pastries after battling rush-hour traffic. But soon after I downed my morning brew, I realized I was in no ordinary place. I was in the midst of history being made. As I listened to heartfelt “amens”, “uh-huhs” and “right-ons,” during the pre-oath moments, I began to tap away on my laptop, recounting as quickly as I could when applause erupted as speeches and musical presentations ensued. And when President Barack Obama gave his inaugural speech, I could tell I was in the midst of something special indeed.
Years from now, I hope I may be able to tell my grandchildren where I was on this day: not just witnessing the day’s historic events, but reporting on one small but interesting event for all to read and learn about, even if merely a local gathering. For in the eyes, the faces and the comments I was privy to this morning, I could see — that in some way that I could not quite put my finger on — the world had indeed changed right before my eyes.