The winner is still not clear, but the historic moment is. "Many of us never dreamed that we would see such a day," says Dr. Dorothy Height, the 95-year-old president emeritus of the Council of Negro Women. "This gives us a sense that if we want to we can join hands and work together." WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The winner is still not clear, but the historic moment is.
"Many of us never dreamed that we would see such a day," says Dr. Dorothy Height, the 95-year-old president emeritus of the Council of Negro Women. "This gives us a sense that if we want to we can join hands and work together."
Height was among a crowd at the national headquarters of the Council of Negro Women in D.C. that gathered for a "Watch Party" to view the Super Tuesday primary election returns.
"But, we've also got to recognize that this stirs up the power forces in a new way," she warns. "So we'll have to be on our alert that we don't take it for granted. But we'll have to work harder to fulfill the thing that we've been working on."
The "it" to which Height refers in the interview with the NNPA News Service meant one of two historic facts – that for the first time, a woman is about to receive the Democratic nomination for president of the United States or for the first time, the nomination will go to a Black man.
Either way, civil rights leaders and political enthusiasts from their early 20s to 95 and perhaps beyond, defined the still deadlocked race between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as the result of a zeitgeist - the intellectual and cultural climate of an era.
"There are these change moments called the zeitgeist, a movement moment. It's not always defined in the traditional issue sense. It's defined when people want change," says Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. "It's just a level of enthusiasm that makes my job easier. My job is to increase Black voter participation. I am not having a hard time doing that right now."
The result of the returns Tuesday night showed enthusiasm – not only by Blacks – but by Whites across the nation as Obama enthusiasts caused him to win in states with almost no African-Americans, such as Idaho with a Black population of 0.7 percent and Utah with 1 percent.
"Basically, what they say about him not winning the White vote, they can put that to bed," says Dr. Ron Walters, University of Maryland political Scientist.
Perhaps even more shocking to some was Obama's win in Georgia and Alabama, hotbeds for historic racial strife, thought to be still just below the surface.
In the battle for delegates, Clinton won eight states, including the coveted larger states such California and New York, which she represents. She gained 823 delegates by winning Arizona, California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee.
"I think that's how you touch young voters. You have to touch them in the way that they're used to communicate with each other. And it comes off as authentic..."
Obama won 13 states for 732 delegates. They were Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, his home state of Illinois, Minnesota and Utah.
New Mexico was too close to call by NNPA deadline early Wednesday. A total of 2,025 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination.
So, there are 23 more state primaries to go that could throw the election in either direction. The next major primaries are Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Plus, at the Democratic National Convention Aug. 25-28 in Denver, there will be so-called Super Delegates, public and Democratic Party officials, who – if the race is still too close to call - could render the deciding votes.
"It seems like there's almost a competitive spirit going on with the states. Who can turn out more voters?" says Campbell. "In