For many blacks, reelection provides irrefutable evidence that presidency was hardly a historical fluke.

Obama’s victory meant a great deal to veterans of the civil rights movement. “I am completely exhilarated,” said Margaret Burnham, a law professor at Northeastern University. “This victory gives us an opportunity to fulfill the promises of democracy all across the country. It will be a more inclusive country. We have a president who has made it clear he’s on the side of working people.”