DETROIT – Martina Guzman, FI2W reporter
Detroiters cheered in bars, honked their horns and literally danced in the streets when Barack Obama became the president-elect.
Detroit is considered a black city: the population is more than eighty percent African American. It has had a black mayor for decades, black City Council members and elected officials. But as a veteran of multiple presidential and local campaigns, I have never seen an outpouring of joy over an election like I saw last night — there’s no precedent to compare it to.
This was not the kind of celebration that takes place after a major sports victory. And it was nothing like the usual party after winning an electoral race. This time, people in bars sobbed openly as Obama spoke to the nation. At the Park Bar, one of Detroit’s newest hangouts, no one was allowed to talk while Obama gave his speech — and no one did. People sat in silence, beaming, listening to every word he said.
“Oh my God, what a great country we live in,” said 42-year-old Louis Aguilar after Obama’s victory speech. Aguilar was one of the thousands of people who came out last night to watch the results roll in.
As the states turned blue, a trickle of cars honking their horns turned quickly into a midnight parade.