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'Yes we did,' Obama crowd chants at rally

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  • NEW: Obama: "At this defining moment, change has come to America,"
  • Chicago graduate student says win "will transcend all types of racial line"
  • Supporters at rally in Grant Park in Chicago shout "yes we can," "yes we did"
  • Oprah Winfrey: "It feels like hope won"
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CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- A massive crowd in Chicago shouted "yes we can" and "yes we did" after it was announced that Sen. Barack Obama was projected to win the election and become the first African-American president of the United States.

Supporters of Sen. Barack Obama celebrate at his rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois Tuesday night.

More than 225,000 Obama supporters gathered in Grant Park for a celebration rally Tuesday evening.

Chicago resident Nakiva Day said she supported Obama for his stance on specific issues and was attending the rally for its historic importance.

"I'm here for history," she said.

Day said she didn't vote for Obama because he was black, but hoped he would serve to inspire the African-American community.

"Obama will lift blacks up as a people. He will stop black on black hostility. I didn't vote for him because he's black but I know he will lift us up."

Obama took the stage to deliver his acceptance speech as the crowd erupted in applause. Did you watch? Share your reaction

"It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America," Obama said. Video Watch Obama say "all things are possible" »

Obama thanked the crowd, saying the victory truly belonged to the people, but also warned there was a lot of work to do in the coming years.

"What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night," he said. "This victory alone is not the change we seek -- it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

Obama hailed the election as a turning point in the nation's history and called upon his supporters and those who did not vote for him to come together to rebuild the country.

"This is our moment. This is our time -- to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth -- that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can," Obama said.

Before the rally, Oprah Winfrey told CNN the news brought tears to her eyes and made her feel "anything is now possible." Video Watch crowd erupt when Obama is projected winner »

"It feels like hope won. It feels like not just a victory for obviously Barack Obama, but America did the right thing," Winfrey said. "It feels like there's a shift in consciousness. It feels like something really big and bold has happened -- like nothing ever in our lifetime did we expect this to happen."

Sonja Artis, a neuroscience graduate student from Chicago called Obama "the American Dream," and said she hoped he would restore her faith in government.

"If he wins I think it represents possibilities. Barack Obama is the American Dream," she said. "This will transcend all types of racial lines. This vote is for my grandmother, my grandfather. There was a time when they didn't have the chance I have. And he's here because of their hard work."

At the rally, Obama supporters waived giant American flags, and shouted "Yes we can," as they watched CNN with the volume turned up before celebrating at 11 p.m. when he was projected to be the first African-American to hold the nation's highest office.

Stephanie Jones, an integrated marketing and communications graduate student from Chicago said she hoped Obama's historic campaign would "spark a fire to inspire everyone."


"I think in terms of race relations I think it'll force us to take another look at ourselves. It's just cool," she said. " We'll have a black first lady and black children in White House, you can't deny that!"

I hope that he will inspire people and make us hope for more because there's such a level of complacency in our country. And the fact that he inspires so many people I just hope he sparks a fire to inspire everyone to work for something more."

All About Barack ObamaU.S. Presidential Election

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