Natalie Johnson is a native of Birmingham, Ala., and her parents were active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, so the ability to experience Barack Obama's inauguration firsthand was astounding for the Waubonsie Valley High School math teacher.
"I was speechless. It was almost surreal," she said of the inauguration. "It was a moment that I know my ancestors are proud of."
She said the moment fits in with Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of joining races together, since people of all creeds and all backgrounds came together for the same purpose.
Johnson has her video camera with her and has been videotaping people along her journey from Naperville to Washington, D.C.
"I'm creating a DVD of it to share with my family," Johnson said.
She also attended the election-night rally in Chicago, and she wants to combine both events into a present for her family members.
Johnson said she's talked to 30 or so people so far from all over the country who have had similar things to say.
"They have so much hope for the future," she said.
Johnson will also show the movie to the students in her all-black ACT prep class back at Waubonsie.
"It's an experience from a historical perspective," she said. "It has been unbelievable."