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January 20, 2009
January 20, 2009
In the fall of 1964 the leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee made a visit to West Africa. At the time SNCC was one of the most prominent civil rights organizations in the United States, and its leaders were among the country's most capable black activists.

Traveling to Africa from Jim Crow America was a shock for these young people. At one point on the trip, as the group boarded an airplane, SNCC communications director Julian Bond noticed that the pilot was black. He turned to a friend and, only half joking, said "I hope this guy knows what he's doing."

Forty-four years ago one of America's most vocal advocates of racial equality wasn't quite sure that he trusted a black man to fly a plane. This morning, just before noon, a black man will be sworn in as president of the United States of America.

How quickly did this happen? How fast did we move from then to now?

Here's how quickly. Here's how fast.

When Julian Bond stepped onto that airplane, America's first black president was three years old.