Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Wordless Wednesday: African Americans in Our Nation’s Capital, Then and Now

January 20th, 2009 by Ajuan Mance

Enslaved Black men and women being marched past the Capitol, 1815.

(Source: Library of Congress/


U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle at the Commander-in-Chiefs Inaugural Ball in Washington, January 20, 2009.

(Source: Reuters)

Posted by Ajuan Mance

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black History, Current Events, Michelle Obama, Slavery, Uncategorized

9 Responses

  1. Stan

    When I saw Obama campaigning in Reno a year and a half ago, I didn’t believe it could happen. After 8 long years of fear and despair, hope is here at last.

  2. Robin

    What a glorious sight, far too long in coming but so full of hope and promise. It sends shivers down my spine to think that my children will grow up with this as the new normal, not just saying that in America anyone can become President, but truly seeing and believing it.

    What a grand, grand day this is for ALL of us.

  3. June

    What a juxtaposition! I cited another a few posts back…go look if you have the time and inclination. It’s called “In My Lifetime”. Anyway, wonderful, wonderful day it was!

  4. Mojo

    Great contrast study. It is amazing that just in my lifetime I’ve gone from seeing restroom doors labeled “White” and “Colored” to seeing the son of an African immigrant with a distinctly non-Anglo sounding name elected to the nation’s highest office.

    Better still, I see a man of real, substantive vision in the White House for the first time in my memory.

    It’s an exciting time to be an American. I never dared hope that those words would fall from my lips. And yet it’s happened.

  5. Keith

    Hey Ajuan.

    Great shots, and great concept. That comparison between what was and what is and shall be is truly a mind-eye opener.
    Happy WW!

  6. DNLee

    nice photo of the first couple, very nice/

  7. Villager

    Happy America! Great point-counterpoint photos. Today it begins anew. Let’s get busy…

    I invite your blog readers to smile at this photo of Barack Obama tearing up some fried fish in much the same way we hope he will tear up our current recession.

    peace, Villager

  8. Clnmike

    That is a heck of a turn around.

  9. Erica

    This is the first time I’ve actually been excited about our president. This is the first time I think we actually have a president that is in touch with the common person and cares about fixing the systems that aren’t working.

    Great photos. 🙂