Page last updated at 15:12 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Voters' Views: Sumit Galhotra

Barack Obama has been elected the first black president of the United States.

Here Republican and Democratic voters from across the US reflect on the results and look to the future.

Sumit Galhotra Graduate student | Democrat

I had the opportunity to pass through the streets of Harlem. The people on the streets - black, white, gay and straight - were in a celebratory mood

Sumit Galhotra
Age: 24
Lives: New York
Occupation: Graduate student
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Activist, worldly, liberal, cosmopolitan

"Words cannot even come close to expressing the host of emotions I am feeling at this very moment: from pure euphoria to a sense of amazement that a person of colour has finally broken through the glass ceiling.

I cannot believe that I am witnessing such a historic moment, a moment that I will be telling my children and grandchildren about.

I had the opportunity to pass through the streets of Harlem - a hub for African American history and culture.

The people on the streets - black, white, gay, straight, men, women, Christian and Muslim - were in a celebratory mood even in the early hours of the morning. In Obama we have found a man who can unite instead of divide and tonight was a testament to that fact.

One of my close friends who called to congratulate me said: 'This is the country I want to be in.' I couldn't agree with her more. After eight years of feeling helpless and infuriated at the track our country had taken, the election has renewed the conviction for many in the greatness of what America stands for.

Obama's victory makes all the difference in my life. It means that as minorities, we can strive to accomplish whatever we set our hearts and minds to. It has been a transformational night: nearly 50 years ago Dr Martin Luther King had a dream. Today Barack Obama has fulfilled it.

I would ask the American people to remain patient. The mess we are in right now has been the result of years of failed policies. Our colossal problems will not disappear overnight with this win. This is just the beginning, however, to what will be four great years."

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The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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