FORT WORTH — Rosalind Evans remembers a few years ago when her kindergarten-aged son told his classmates that he wanted to run for president.
"An Anglo boy told him he couldn't because he's black," Evans said. "It's not that he can't. It's that he can."
So, Thursday, she took all three of her sons to the Fort Worth Convention Center to see Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, an African American who could capture the party's nomination if he wins Texas.
"I didn't think this would happen in my lifetime," Evans said. "It says a lot about the country."
As Obama walked into the center's arena, a crowd of more than 11,000 erupted into thunderous cheers and applause, snapping pictures of him and waving " Texas believes in Obama" and "Yes we can" signs.
As the crowd quieted down, people yelled "We love you, Obama!" and "You the man."
Obama told the racially diverse gathering that he's running for president because of what the Rev. Martin Luther King called the "fierce urgency of now."
"We are at a defining moment in history ," he said. "Our nation is at war. Our planet is in peril. And the dream so many fought for feels like it's slipping away. We cannot wait."
Obama drew one of the largest cheers of the night when he said President Bush would not be on the ballot in November. He drew one of the biggest boos when he said that means Bush is coming back to Texas .
"Y'all are going to have to figure out what to do with him," Obama told the crowd.
On Saturday, rival Democrat Hillary Clinton will hold a rally at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Stu Lewis and Zack Brown waited the longest to see Obama, showing up at the convention center at 6 a.m.
Wearing "Obama 08" T-shirts, they were first in line, chatting throughout the day with passers-by and drinking Red Bull.
Brown, 16, isn't even old enough to vote.
"I'm a volunteer, though, for his campaign. I've made over 200 calls for him, trying to get people out to vote," Brown said. "I think I should hear him, if I do that. Plus, I'll be able to vote when he's up for re-election."
Obama asked Texans to vote early, and return to the polls on election night to caucus for him as well, as allowed under Texas law.
"Fort Worth , this is our moment. This is our time," he said. "If you will pull with me and work with me ... and hope with me, I promise you, we won't just win Texas. We will win this nomination. We will win the general election."