WASHINGTON — On the night that Senator Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president, Roderick J. Harrison plans to pop open a bottle of Champagne and sit riveted before the television with his wife and 12-year-old son.
Mr. Harrison, a demographer who is black, says he expects to feel chills when Mr. Obama becomes the first black presidential candidate to lead a major party ticket. But as the Democratic convention gets under way, Mr. Harrison’s anticipation is tempered by uneasiness as he wonders: Will Mr. Obama’s success further the notion that the long struggle for racial equality has finally been won?
Mr. Obama has received overwhelming support from black voters, many of whom believe he will help bridge the nation’s racial divide. But even as they cheer him on, some black scholars, bloggers and others who closely follow the race worry that Mr. Obama’s historic achievements might make it harder to rally support for policies intended to combat racial discrimination, racial inequities and urban poverty.