When 87-year-old Moree Jones grew up on a farm in Marvyn, Ala., she never imagined she would see a president who looked like her.
After watching the inauguration from her home in Phenix City, Jones said, “It was great. I never thought I would live to see the day that a black man would be president.”
Jones said when Obama initially threw his hat into the race, she wasn’t sure he would win the Democratic nomination.
“A black person had never run as the Democratic nominee before. He was the first to run and the first to win the election,” said Jones, who has lived in Phenix City since January of 1952. “I figured he had a chance, but I wasn’t sure because he was up against Hillary Clinton. But after he won the Democratic nomination, I thought he was going to win.”
Although Jones has lived through more than 20 presidential elections, she watched the 2008 election more closely and with more enthusiasm.
“For me it was different from the others. There had never been a black man running before,” Jones said.
Looking back over the years. Jones has seen segregation fall to integration and civil rights lead to equal rights.
“I bet Governors George Wallace and Lester Maddox are turning over in their graves,” said Jones.
“I think it’s going to be better for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren than it has been in the past,” she said, but added that Obama’s election doesn’t mean racism in American is dead.
“I don’t think it’s gone away,” Jones said. “It will probably be better than it has been, but it’s going to take more than this for racism to go away completely.”
Jones has high expectations for Obama and his administration.
“I hope he is able to make jobs more available for people and I hope he is able to put all people on equal footing as far as pay goes. If I do the job and you do the job, we should get equal pay regardless of who you are.”
She watched Obama’s speech and was inspired by his words.
“I thought it was wonderful,” Jones said. “Barack Obama put the icing on the cake.”