My alarm went off at 7am. After dancing heavy at the Wonderful party the night before I felt a little fatigued. Yet once I remembered what lay before me for that day I perked up. I got ready within an hour and walked outside to find a stream of people walking down the street. First Shino and I had to get some supplies for the inauguration. We went to the supermarket up the block and decided on bagels and water (wrong choice but I'll get to that later). There were a bunch of people had the same idea we had. Once free from the market we joined the continuous stream of folks headed towards the capital. Being that we did a trial run the previous day which led us to the parade preparations, we had a edge on the others.
As we walked I turned on a song by rapper Killer Mike called "Pressure". It's what I would call an angry political rap song. I personally love it. Once I took in the swarm of people all heading towards the Capital building to see the first Black President sworn in my eyes began to water. The sight before me combined with the lyrics discussing police brutality the price of freedom and ending with a speech by Malcolm X left me emotional. It started to hit home for me that history was happening and I was a part of it.
Once we got near the mall the traffic of people got thicker. Police began to have a presence and kind of directed us as a herd. I quickly realized that we were being sent towards the back of the mall. This didn't worry me too much as I figured once we got on the mall we could just walk up and get as close as possible with no tickets. As we walked on the grassy area and made moves to walk through folks and cross our first street the cold DC air was there to greet us. It's as if the earth said "oh so you think you are just gonna be a part of history and it's a piece of cake? Think again". It was a bitter cold out that day. The HAWK was out to see this President take the oath on this Tuesday morning. I felt my toes going numb and had to jump up and down a few times to make that uncomfortable feeling go away. While amongst the crowd Shino and I tried to eat our bagels, which became bricks and were at this point a joke. The bananas we purchased were our saving grace to have at least something in our stomachs.
After getting stuck in an area due to tight security and being kept from moving up much at all on the mall, I realized we were gonna watch the event on a jumbo-tron near by. All good, because at least we could see and hear everything, plus we were THERE! From the moment the man of the hour Barack Obama graced the screen the place went nuts. We were cheering to be heard in the heavens above. However when the current President graced the screen he was met with a round of boos only topped by a bad call during a Super Bowl. (I'll leave it up to you to determine if that was proper or not.) Once Obama placed his hand on the Bible and was officially sworn in everyone screamed from the top of their lungs. Now there were musicians and other notable people speaking at this inauguration but by the time a poet got behind the mic I knew it was time to make a strategic exit. My walk back home wasn't too bad. I ran into a friend from back in Brooklyn whom I've known since 2nd grade. The spirit was high on those DC streets. I just wanted to get out of the crowd though and you can tell by the look on my face in some pics.
There were people from all over in that crowd with us that day. All wanting to be a part of something great. American flags were everywhere and the hands waving them were of all different hues. And of course vendors looking to make a profit to share in the occasion. Gotta love it.
Now if you weren't in DC and still want to represent this new administration in a fashionable way check out Potter Esquire Clothing and their official Inauguration shirt.
I hope you enjoy all of these pictures taken by Shino (except the one she's in). The following are more scenes from a joyous occasion.