In 1961, Robert F. Kennedy predicted that the country could elect a black president in the next 40 years. That's how fast race relations were changing in America, said the attorney general at the time.
Now, 47 years later, Barack Obama stands at the precipice of fulfilling Kennedy's eerily prescient forecast. On Thursday, he'll become the first minority to win the presidential nomination, achieving what many thought was impossible given our national obsession with race.
Politico talked to dozens of black leaders from across the country, asking them to assess the impact of the Obama nomination and what it says about the state of race in America today.
The panel had as many opinions as Politico had questions. But almost everyone could agree on at least one word, an expression they all believed King would have used to describe Obama's nomination: "Hallelujah."
More:Democratic Convention Obama Nominee Barack Obama Nomination Obama Nominated Barack Obama Nominee
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more