Recently in Pamela Category

She was a reporter.

She was a black woman.

She was working.

She was a part of.

She came.

She saw.

Ultimately, she was conquered.

Thumbnail image for IMG_0409.JPG

Inauguration-bound, they came with their hopes. They came with their dreams.

And right behind them were the street vendors.

No, this wasn't Washington, D.C. Not yet. This was 87th & the Dan Ryan, where the Frazier family of Marquette Park gathered with 96 fellow travelers to hop two charter buses bound for D.C. on a three-day "Road Trip to the White House."


A vendor boards the "Road trip to the White House" charter bus to sell her wares.

Her parents made their way to Chicago in the Great Migration, settling in the Near South Side ghetto then part of the city's Black Belt.

Margie Edwards, 78, of Englewood, has vivid memories of growing up during segregation, of Jim Crow laws and the newcomer called King, of marching hand-in-hand with strangers in Selma.

So when a newcomer came along 45 years later, she was skeptical.

"I said, 'Boy, he don't stand a snowball's chance in hell,' " said Edwards, whose daughter Pamela Frazier is taking Edwards' eight grandchildren and great-grandchildren to Washington for Barack Obama's inauguration as president.

"But I see him one time, and he's got 5,000 people with him, then the next time you looked, he had 50,000 people. It just kept mushrooming," she said. "That's when you think to yourself, 'This young man has got to have something on the ball.' "

Though they're only second-graders, Semaja Frazier and Brian Jackson feel a personal stake in the inauguration of the president-elect.

Just about every Saturday between August and Nov. 4, 2008, the two could be found door to door canvassing for then-candidate Barack Obama in Hammond, Ind.

"We helped him win," said Semaja. "I'm excited. Now we're going to Washington to see him be the first black president. I can't wait."


Semaja Frazier, 8, and her cousin Brian Jackson, 8, beside a Barack Obama project in the hallway of their school.

Cold. Exhausting. Those were my own overriding feelings as I worked this historic event.
Moving. Momentous. Overwhelming. Those were the feelings that followed.
Among the crowd, fulfilling was an adjective used a lot.
The sea of people that turned out for Barack Obama's inauguration, we learned later, was estimated at some 2 million.
At ground zero, it sure felt like it.
What we couldn't see from our various vantage points, however, was how far the panorama stretched. And it wasn't until later, seeing it on television, that I realized what I'd been a part of. I was shocked.
And the feelings I hadn't had time to feel while working, came at night, watching it fully, watching what I hadn't been able to see from in the middle of all those people.
The images bear witness to a day to remember.


The city seems normal before you near the Capitol.


The throngs start to grow as you approach.


Pamela Frazier listens to President Barack Obama's inauguration speech.

(Washington, D.C.) -- For many average folks that traveled here for the inauguration of the nation's first black president, today was about the battle, in so many ways.

The battle for racial equality. The battle for their share of the American Dream. The battle just to get onto the National Mall.

It is just after 7 a.m. eastern time, and we are leaving our hotel, headed to president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

With the delays yesterday morning, the Frazier family and their tour group on a "Road trip to the White House" were quite antsy by the second rest stop last night to refuel the bus, in Breezewood, Pa.

But as the "Are we close yets" started to come, the Trailways bus driver got lost. His GPS went haywire. So the group didn't pull up at their Best Western hotel in Denton, Md. (half the group continued to a Best Western in Smyrna, Md.) until after 5 a.m.

Pamela Frazier and her family are traveling to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of America's first black president.

For weeks now, Frazier family matriarch Pamela Frazier has been counting
money in the bank, ticking off bus, hotel, food and souvenirs.

Most everyone's going to the inauguration of America's first black president
-- among the Frazier family of Marquette Park, that is.

"It's costing me about $5,000," says Pamela, beaming with pride.

"I believe in Obama.

"I believe he is a good example of people who can do and go anywhere they
want to go. He is a good example of where he came from. He came from a
single family home. I did too. He came from not being raised by his dad. I
did too."

So she's taking eight other members of her family on "A Road Trip to the
White House," a three-day event by a South Side tour operator that involves
spending Jan. 19 on a bus to D.C., Jan. 20 on the National Mall and Jan. 21
on the bus home.

Sun-Times readers will travel with Pamela, 58 -- a divorced, middle-class
mother of five and grandmother of seven -- and her brood.
Watch the family's video
Email me your inauguration trip plans

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Pamela category.

Obama is the previous category.

Ryaan is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.