For some LIers, President Obama is a dream come true

For Long Island residents who experienced segregation first hand, the inauguration of America?s first black president was something they say they never thought they would see. Nearly 100 people packed

News 12 Staff

Jan 21, 2009, 1:18 AM

Updated 5,659 days ago

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For Long Island residents who experienced segregation first hand, the inauguration of America?s first black president was something they say they never thought they would see.
Nearly 100 people packed into a Coram church Tuesday to watch President Barack Obama?s inauguration. Many who attended told News 12 Long Island they grew up in the segregated South and never thought the country would elect a black president.
?It's not that I didn't wish it,? Theodore Frederick, of Coram, says. ?It's not that I didn't hope for it. It's the way things were, the way we were treated. I never thought America would allow it.?
Minnie Wilson, of Medford, says she remembers walking five miles to school because bus transportation was only available to white students where she lived. Mary Johnson, of Coram, recalls buying hot dogs and picking up the food from a side window because only white people were allowed to eat inside.
News 12 Long Island?s Ken Grimball says Obama?s inauguration means something special to him in particular. Growing up in Charleston, S.C., he recalls being told to use the back door entrance at the downtown movie theater.
"My family has been in America since the days of slavery and that is hundreds of years,? Grimball says. ?I am happy to see finally an African-American can be in the White House."
News 12's Ken Grimball recalls the segregation of his youth
To see the extended interview with Ken Grimball, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.


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