Less than 24 hours after America elected Barack Obama the 44th President, people in the Hub City are still celebrating the first black president. "I knew that he had already won," Roy Montelongo said.
But Montelongo didn't want to miss Obama's historic speech. "I never thought I would see a black man running for president," Montelongo said.
Montelongo moved from Mexico to Lubbock as a young boy in the 1950's. He says back then skin color affected where people lived, worked and spent their free time. "I worked as a bus boy at Pete's Café. At that time black people were not allowed in the dinner area," Montelongo said.
Lubbock Councilman Floyd Price was one of those people forced to sit in segregated areas. "I wasn't allowed to go to movies at certain times and I wasn't allowed in restaurants to sit and eat. My dollar was just as good as anybody else. But the fact was someone had said because you're black you cannot come in and mingle with me," Price said.
Then fast forward to November 4, 2008 when both Montelongo and Price stayed up late to listen to a message of change from America's next president. NewsChannel 11 brought along that speech on a laptop and watched it with Price and Montelongo.
"I've been here for 67 years. It had never been shown where you can take a group of people all colors all religions and bring them together," Price said.
"I wish my mom would have been alive to see this," Montelongo said. When NewsChannel 11 asked why, Montelongo replied, "Because she suffered prejudices. She would say wow."
Both men tell us they voted for Obama for his ability to bring people together and his ideas for the nation. Now the question is can he live up to his campaign promises. Only time will tell.
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