Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

In South LA, some honk horns, one voter reflects on Obama re-election

As word spread that the TV networks had called the presidential election for the incumbent, drivers along Crenshaw Boulevard began honking their horns and shouting from their car windows.

One woman, Flora Stewart, stood at the corner of Crenshaw and Vernon Avenue waving a large copy of the Obama family's official White House portrait - what she called "a beautiful picture of a beautiful family.

"To become the President of the United States, not only do you need the support of your community, you need the support of your family. And I just think that what they had to sacrifice and give up for the last four years, I think it's tremendous."

Amid the celebratory noise, Stewart reflected on the significance of the president's re-election after a bitter, often negative campaign against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

"I'm so glad that we got through this," she said. "I was fearful that the divisiveness was going to take over. So I'm just so happy that democracy won out this time."

Stewart said she felt proud to be an American, because in her mind the president's re-election validated earlier generations' efforts to secure the right to vote for all Americans.

"I’m thinking of Harriet Tubman and everyone who sacrificed," Stewart said.

Like many African Americans, she added that she hadn't expected to see a black president elected during her lifetime. "And to have this happen again, it just really shows me that the majority of America is ready for this, despite what a minority may want to say."

She smiled toward her two pre-teen children standing nearby. "Change isn't that bad. We are going to move forward. It gives me great optimism."