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Obama on 145th Street

The night of Barack Obama's election, as it was followed and celebrated in Harlem.

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4.7/5 (14 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Colin Murphy

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Obama on 145th Street

Colin Murphy spent November 4, 2008, walking around New York, and as it got dark, found himself in Harlem, on 145th Street. It had been an unusual day, and it was to be a unique night.

By night's end, Barack Obama would have won a resounding victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. At the House of Justice in Harlem, where they were having a "watch night", few were shedding any tears as Obama's lead in the electoral college grew.

Passing by on the street outside, looking for a late-opening polling centre, Colin was invited in, and spent the rest of the night talking, partying and singing with the local community, some of whom could trace their roots back just a few generations to slavery in the Southern States.

The House of Justice is the HQ of the veteran civil rights campaigner, the Rev Al Sharpton; later in the week, Colin returned to talk at length with Sharpton about the significance of Obama's victory, and the role of his community in securing it.

Obama on 145th Street was originally produced for the RFI programme Crossroads with sound engineering by Ariane Gaffuri.

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.

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