Globe staffer Joseph Williams writes: When Eddie Burns, an unemployed musician, describes what the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama means to him as an African-American, he answers in superlatives: historic, amazing, unbelievable. The future president, Burns proudly declares, "has encouraged people to dream."

But as a client of Shepherd's Table, a suburban Washington charity that provides meals and services for the poor, Burns can't imagine that Obama's presidency - hailed around the globe - will change the lives of poor black people like him. Obama, he said, has to handle two overseas wars and a failing economy, and certainly would not have time to help the destitute.


"I doubt it, no. I don't think so," said Burns, who has been out of work for about three years. "For the lower class, no way." Read more.

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