Harlem Votes

Historically African-American neighborhood turns out on historic day

Perhaps no neighborhood in NYC is more associated with the African-American community than Harlem, which makes the possible election of a black president resonate strongly in the uptown Manhattan neighborhood.

Congressman Charlie Rangel stood in line with hundreds of other voters this morning in front of an elementary school on 134th St. with his wife. He sounded excited: "Those Europeans never thought the slaves would be in charge."

The overheard remark is perhaps indicative of how transformative Sen. Obama's potential election is viewed by some of the electorate.

Harlem has a strong association with the Democratic Party, which has run both hot and cold through this electoral season.

President Bill Clinton opened his post-presidential headquarters in Harlem, enjoying a bounce in public opinion polls amid a scandal about last-minute pardons that threatened to tarnish his legacy.

Hillary Clinton ran a bitter campaign against Sen. Obama, which led to some hard feelings around the neighborhood. Many viewed Bill and Hillary's support of their party's nomination as passive aggressively negative and lackluster. Still, the Clintons appeared to stump hard for Obama later in his campaign.

This morning, Harlem voters hope their votes and voices will be heard.

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