St. Louis Public Radio News
9:35 am
Tue January 20, 2009

Mo. Black Caucus thrilled with Obama becoming president

Jefferson City, MO – Barack Obama's inauguration as America's first African-American president is hitting high notes with the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus.

State Representative Martin Rucker (D, St. Joseph), chair of the caucus, says Obama's ascension to the U.S. presidency indicates that the country is becoming what it's supposed to be: "If he's successful, as I know he should be, it will break a barrier that says that you can't put him in that position because of the color of his skin," Rucker said.

State House Member Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) says it's a very exciting time in history, and for her personally.

"I was just thinking, 45 years ago, we had to sit on the back of the bus...45 years ago, we couldn't vote...45 years ago, we had to sit at different lunch counters...and now today, 45 years later, we're seeing an African-American man going into the White House," Nasheed said.

Nasheed also says Missouri will benefit from President Obama's strong relationships with Senator Claire McCaskill and other members of the state's Congressional delegation.