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People of Color Play Major Role in Inauguration Festivities--PICTURES People of Color Play Major Role in Inauguration Festivities--PICTURES

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The Next America Culture 2012

People of Color Play Major Role in Inauguration Festivities--PICTURES

January 15, 2013

Barack Obama’s presidency has been marked with significant historic moments and firsts for politics. America's first African-American president was elected in 2008, then reelected by a young and diverse cohort. Not surprisingly, key players in his 2013 inauguration are notable for their achievements and historical firsts. Click through the slideshow to see the participants and ties they have to U.S. communities of color.

President Obama's hand is on Bibles belonging to civil rights icons Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. Obama swore on the same Bible, used by Lincoln in 1861, during his first oath in 2009. King’s “traveling Bible,” provided by his family, was stacked atop Lincoln’s.(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

In his remarks, President Obama emphasized equality for all, with the White House tweeting a portion: "We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody." Read or watch his full address.(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the fourth woman and first Hispanic to swear in a president or vice president. Vice President Joe Biden selected the justice, who is also the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court, to administer the oath to him.(Paul Sancya/AP)


The Obamas began the day with the brief trip to St. John's Episcopal Church, known as the Church of the Presidents, greeted by The Rev. Luis León. The Cuban-born priest later delivered the benediction at the Capitol. Sunday the First Family attended services at the nation's oldest black Episcopal church.(Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Obama’s selection of Richard Blanco as the inaugural poet catapulted him into the spotlight as the first Hispanic and openly gay poet to hold the honor. His poem spoke of American equality and populism.(Win McNamee, AP Pool)

Beyonce offered a stunning rendition of the national anthem.(Chet Susslin/National Journal)


Actress Eva Longoria, on the platform as a co-chair of the festivities, is a visible and charismatic force in Hispanic politics, as portrayed in a Wall Street Journal profile. Sunday she appeared on ABC's "This Week" and said she hopes "...President Obama sees that immigration is an economic issue."(Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil-rights advocate Medgar Evers, delivered the invocation, saying, "America, we are here ... to ask for blessings upon our leaders. ... May the inherent dignity of everyone ... be honored." Evers-Williams, who is a scholar at Alcorn State University, is a civil-rights activist who served as NAACP chairwoman from 1995 to 1998.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Among the entertainers at a Latino inaugural-eve bash Sunday: (from left to right) Beyonce, Marc Anthony, Alicia Keys, and Stevie Wonder.(Invision/AP File Photos)

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