I want to remind (or introduce) people to a truly courageous and almost unknown group of Americans. They were called The Freedom Riders. Over 50 years ago, they helped lead this country to the result of the 2008 election.
They were individuals (college age, I think) who went into the South to encourage and help members of the black community to register so they could vote. Some of them were murdered. Probably all of them were afraid. I don't know if there is an accurate count of how many they helped to register, but it was a significant number.
In my opinion, they are the heroes of all American history because they helped to change a major wrong in this country: not allowing black people to vote.
Barack Obama's victory occurred for numerous reasons, but the least remembered or acknowledged were the efforts of the Freedom Riders. They were a necessary prelude to voting access for all people in this country.