Our pilgrimage to Washington is underway and it's already sort of inspiring to see how very young people somehow realize this is a moment they're going to want to tell their grandchildren about. I'm riding a "hip-hop" tour bus down I-95. This is not your grandparents' coach.

Old-school rap is blaring. There is a DJ scratching digital tracks in the front, and an MC named Barak spitting lyrics into the bus driver's ear. (Barak spells his name slightly differently than our President Elect, but the coincidence is still striking). Barak is from Bedford Stuyvesant. He has dreads and gold teeth and speaks in a thoughtful, confident tone (not unlike Obama). He told me he doesn't expect this inauguration to magically solve the inner city's problems, but he's already seen some really promising signs. For one, young people aren't afraid to "act smart." Kids often want to pretend they don't care about school, history, politics, etc. But...because Obama's contagious charisma is considered "cool," there are kids out there who are now more interested in mimicking his calm intelligence.

As the DC-bound bus speeds through New Jersey, it's also interesting to hear how Obama's life story has already become a part of the fabric of urban identity. Near the back of the bus sits Dustin Greene. He's originally from Detroit, now from Brooklyn. He's bi-racial. That Obama is also bi-racial has become a source of pride for Dustin. Sitting right behind him is Maria Beale from Harlem. She keys in on Obama's relationship with his father. As most of America now knows, Barack Obama's father was largely absent in his home. While the future president grew up in Hawaii, his Muslim dad spent most of his time in Africa. The way Maria puts it, too many kids in Harlem have fatherless households...so perhaps the success Obama has achieved will give them hope to succeed.

By now, the Obama bus is pulling into a Maryland rest stop. Excitement is building a little. The old-school hip-hop is giving way to a few more modern tracks. Barak is getting ready for another round of freestyle. Everyone's trying to capture this mental picture...After all, one day they'll share it with their grandkids!