Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Born on Obama's inauguration day

Newborn Amiriyah opened her eyes when Barack Obama was sworn in
As Washington DC was preparing for the inauguration of Barack Obama, 20-year-old Quartianna Jackson was giving birth at Washington's Providence Hospital.

Her baby, a girl named Amiriyah, was born at 3.42am.

Later, she spoke to Nina Robinson from the BBC World Service.

I was hoping my daughter was going to come today, because it is her grandma's birthday.

Her grandma was so excited.

She didn't go to sleep all night, she was like, 'She's gotta be born on my birthday, and it is Obama day', and she didn't go to sleep because she was hoping that she did come today and it wasn't a false alarm.

It's weird because everybody keeps coming in, and usually when you have a baby they're like 'Oh, your baby's so cute' but everybody is saying, 'Oh, your baby was born on the change day'."

When her grandmother came up to the hospital we watched the swearing-in, and when Amiriyah was listening to it she started kicking, and she finally opened her eyes when the Obamas came on.

She wouldn't open her eyes for anybody, not even her grandmother, her uncle or anybody, but once the Obamas came on, and they turned the television up all loud she opened her eyes and was looking around, like 'Okay, what's that noise I hear?'


I think having an African-American in the White House will inspire my daughter.

Teen birth rates per 1,000 females age 15-19: black 62, white 26
Life expectancy at birth: Male - black 69.5, white 75.7; Female - black 76.5, white 80.8
Teens who are high school drop-outs - black 8%, white 5%
Persons aged 25 and over with Bachelor's degree or higher: black 16.9%, white 28.6%
Males in prison per 100,000: black 4,618, white 773
Source: US Census Bureau and Department of Justice

It will help her believe that she can do whatever she wants to do, and that one day, she can be in that place, or can be vice-president, or have some kind of higher power and quality.

Obama is pinpointing that it can be done, if you've got hope your dreams can come true, because a lot of people were thinking that he wasn't going to make it.

But once he came through, I was like, yeah, there will be a lot of kids out there who'll be saying that they can do it, if he did it, that they have a chance at least.

I believe there is going to be a change, I really do.

Food stamps

I'm hoping that the world for my daughter will better than it was when I was growing up, and better than when my other daughter was born: changes in school, and hopefully there will be better jobs.

Quartianna and Amiriyah
Quartianna hopes Amiriyah will be inspired by the Obama presidency

If she doesn't succeed in getting a scholarship, I hope that her dad and I will be able to work hard enough to put her through school.

I hope she won't have to depend on the government, like food stamps or 'Temporary Assistance for Needy Families', that's what I'm dependent on now, and I'm trying to do better, get through school now and it is hard.

I am waiting for my exam scores to come back. Hopefully there will be money because I do want to go to college.

I want to have my daughter in day-care, and hopefully to get my own place. I have a lot of hopes and dreams for this year.

Do I think my hopes will be fulfilled by an Obama presidency?

Honestly, I don't think he'll disappoint us. I have my fingers and my toes crossed. I do have some faith. Hopefully he'll come through for everybody.

Print Sponsor


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific