symbol of how far America has come in its more than two-century struggle with the ideals of a democratic polity. I think it is a moment of immense pride and reflection for the American people. It’s not just that a populace elected a black president; rather, to paraphrase the immortal words of MLK, we all overcame a history of institutionalized racism and inequality,” says Larry Berman, a political scientist at the University of California, Davis.
But will this election truly change the dynamic of race relations in America? “Yes,” says Smith, “In the sense that African Americans will have a new sense of pride in the country and feel like it’s a better place. Whites will, too. This will bridge the racial divide with both groups having a new sense of appreciation for the country and its possibility.”