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Cheers erupt in Harlem as students watch Obama make history

Philissa and I spent the morning watching the inauguration in Harlem with thousands of public school students. They came from 34 public schools, including about 18 charter schools, and when Obama took the oath of office they exploded in cheers, waving American flags and jumping up and down. Here’s a slideshow of some of what we saw, and we’ve also just posted a feature describing the day.

I spent much of the morning sitting next to Douglas Noble, an eighth-grader at KAPPA II in East Harlem. Here’s what he told me about Obama’s influence on him:

He said Obama’s rise changed his life goals. He had wanted to be a basketball player, but now he’s set his sights on engineering. “Everybody wants to be a basketball player, but I want to be something that’s harder,” he said. “A basketball player, all you have to know how to do is dribble and shoot. An engineer, you have to know a lot more.”

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