A young African American Senator and a former first lady—it has been an epic battle to secure the nomination of the Democratic Party for the most powerful elected office in the US.

Barack Obama became the first African American to win the nomination by barely defeating Hillary Clinton through 54 hard fought primary contests. Last night, before about 30,000 people in Minnesota, Barack Obama gave an inspiring, emotional and historical speech acknowledging this accomplishment.

If you haven’t had a chance to hear the speech you owe it to yourself to listen to it here.

Women only received the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment. African Americans received the right to vote with the 14th and 15th Amendments, however, poll taxes, literacy tests, state constitutions, white-only primaries and other voter intimidation was common until the 24th Amendment eliminated the poll tax and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 made all citizens eligible to vote.

It is simply amazing to have lived through the time of blatant segregation and now to see Barack Obama win the nomination. I watched his speech in awe; it was clearly a historic moment.

Credit must also be given to Hillary Clinton for a hard-fought race and for her historic attempt to be the first woman to be a major party nominee. The moment is punctuated by the realization that I can now honesty take my grandchildren in my arms and truly tell them that they can be anything they want, and that their future is in their hands.

My glass seems a bit more than half full this morning!

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