Barack Obama Role Model Essay Titles
Aloysius Puff is 17. In his short lifetime, the black teen has witnessed the appointment of the country's first and second black secretaries of state and its second black Supreme Court justice. But for a long time, he didn't believe a black person would even come close to the nation's highest office.
Now, President-elect Barack Obama "is stepping it up for all of us, especially blacks," said Puff, of Fort Wayne, Ind. "I just hope us African-Americans realize he's doing it for us, and we should give back and step up -- do what we can do, what we can accomplish."
Across the country, educators, community activists and students are hopeful that the election of Obama, whose mother was a white American and father a black African, will provide much-needed inspiration to black youth.
Obama, the First Black President
Mel Campbell, a Corona, Calif., science teacher who also leads a cultural issues class, said he has seen black students engaged in the election like never before.
"I've got students who don't talk politics who are talking politics, who are talking about futures, who are talking about plans, who wouldn't ordinarily be speaking in those terms," he said. "This presidential election has kicked open [a door] in the minds of our underachieving kids."
After seeing students' excitement about Obama's candidacy, teachers and staff at Ramapo High School in Spring Valley, N.Y., held a late-night election results party at the school Tuesday night. More than 60 percent of Ramapo High School's student body is black.
"I believe that schools can really build on this in so many ways," said Joe Farmer, the assistant superintendent of schools in the area, "and use this as inspiration from the very youngest to the oldest of our students."
Fighting Black Stereotypes
For Vinchessica Gray, 17, a high school senior in Gary, Ind., Obama's achievements are especially impressive because he started out as "an ordinary person."
That, she said, "gives other people of our color more confidence in their everyday life."
Obama also helps fight negative stereotypes of black men, said David Williams, 17, of Corona, one of Campbell's students.
"An African-American like Obama, he shows you can actually obtain an education, you can actually be smart and make a difference," Williams said. "Obama is the perfect role model for all black men."
While educators say that Obama's multicultural background may inspire all students of color, young black males are seen as an especially needy demographic.
At the start of 2008, one in every nine black males between the ages of 20 and 34 was in jail, compared with one in 30 among all American men in the same age group, according to the Pew Center on the States' Public Safety Performance Project. Black males also lag behind black females, Hispanics and whites in employment rates.
Many attribute the underachievement of black males in the United States to the proliferation of fatherless black households, especially in American inner cities.
Samson Davis, 35, was raised by his mother in a tough neighborhood in Newark, N.J. Growing up, he saw males who were often drug dealers and car thieves.
"They were reverse role models," he said.
Davis and two of his childhood friends grew up to pursue careers in medicine. To combat all the "reverse role models" out there, the trio -- calling themselves "The Three Doctors" -- now travel the country talking to teens about their aspirations.
Davis said Obama's example, should prove especially powerful to inner-city teens.
"When you do your Pledge of Allegiance to the United States, the president is synonymous to that flag. It's a constant reminder -- you have Barack Obama," he said. "When you walk the streets and there are kids on the corner, soliciting to sell drugs, you know that in your arsenal, you have this thought, 'I can be a Barack Obama.' You have that now to smash all those other temptations."
College-Educated Black Role Models
Obama is "living evidence of the value of education for the black students," said Kristin Klopfenstein, an associate professor at Texas Christian University who studies education and economics.
Despite the growth of a black middle class, Klopfenstein said that the typical black child is still rarely exposed to black, college-educated adults.
"The only college-educated folks that black students often see are their teachers," she said.
And in children's eyes, Klopfenstein said, their teachers' achievements may pale in comparison to the star power of successful blacks such as movie stars and rappers often portrayed in the media.
But "Obama doesn't fit into those two types of categories of what people see every day," she said.
His election, she said, will "show kids that you can be charismatic and you can be successful and you can be intellectual and you can be black at the same time."
There is another demographic that stands to benefit directly from Obama's example -- multiracial youth.
Obama defies the conventional wisdom that people of mixed races can't find acceptance among different communities, said Jenifer Bratter, a Rice University assistant professor who studies multiracial identities.
"What Barack Obama has exemplified in his campaign and his speeches and sort of the way he's represented himself, you can actually celebrate connections to multiple communities and have a coherent public identity," Bratter said.
Bratter is biracial, with a black mother and a white father.
"There's no question -- mixed race youth are watching this and it's very reassuring to see someone like him emerge," she said. "He talks very openly about his white parentage, his Kenyan parentage as well as being raised in Hawaii as well as Chicago, and it all gets bound up in the same narrative. I think for a multiracial person, it's all very inspiring that he can do all that."
With the presidential inauguration and the transition to a new president, it's only fitting to write about the man that has been living in that big white house up in DC for the past eight years. While Barack Obama was the president, and the center of all things politics, that is not what this article is about. I neither follow the news intensely (my news updates consist of notifications from the CNN app on my phone), nor do I pretend to know the fine details of policies and laws. At this stage in my life, I simply follow politics in general: the big events in today's society. With that being said, I do know one thing. Obama is incredible. Yes, it has to do with his presidency, but it's not simply because he's passed laws or bettered the economy. While that is a part of it, the real reason Obama is a man so many people look up to is because of who he is and what he stands for. So, while it's impossible to fully explain all that makes up the unbelievable man known as the 44th President of the United States, here are just a few.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." -February 5th, 2008
Obama said these words not because he had to, but because he meant them. In 2008, he promised change for the country, and throughout his eight years as president he has proven that.
His devotion to his daughters
"What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child- any fool can have a child. That's doesn't make you father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father." - June 15th, 2008
Being president demands a great deal from a person, yet Obama always made time for his daughters.
“For the past 25 years, you’ve not only been my wife and the mother of my children, you’ve been my best friend. You took on a role you didn’t ask for and you made it your own with grace, grit and style." - January 10th, 2017
Obama is never shy to share his unconditional love for Michelle, his wife of over 20 years. Their love has filled the hearts of many across the country for years. Their first date was even made into a movie Southside with you.
"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America - there's the United States of America." - July 27th, 2004
Obama celebrates the diversity that makes up the United States, and at the same time emphasizes that no matter race, religion, or political views, we are all Americans.
“As some of you heard, the state of Hawaii released my official long-form birth certificate. Hopefully, this puts all doubts to rest. But just in case they’re any lingering questions, tonight I’m prepared to go a step further. Tonight, for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video." - April 30th, 2011
Even with such a heated topic such as his birth certificate, Obama isn't afraid to crack a joke here or there.
His "bromance" with Joe Biden
"You were the first choice I made as a nominee, and the best. Not just because you have been a great vice president, but because in the bargain, I gained a brother. We love you and Jill like family, and your friendship has been one of the great joys of our life." - January 10th, 2017
Obama and Biden have shown what true friendships looks like.
He isn't afraid to show emotion
"From every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun....every time I think about those kids it gets me mad." - January 5th, 2016
Obama wiped away tears as he discussed gun violence, specifically after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. And while some may see crying as a sense of weakness, Obama understands the importance of emotions.
His compassion for children
"Above all, children need our unconditional love, whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life is tough." - June 18th, 2011
Obama has made clear countless times just how important is is for us to cherish our children, the next generation.
His fight for women's rights
“[T]his is an extraordinary time to be a woman. … [W]e shouldn’t downplay how far we’ve come... at the same time, there’s still a lot of work we need to do to improve the prospects of women and girls here and around the world.” - August 4th, 2016
Obama understands the true meaning of equality and equal rights, and that half of the country's population does not have these equal rights. Unlike some, he acknowledges the fact, and over his eight years has strived to change that.
And calling himself a feminist
“[I]t’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.” - August 4th, 2016
Obama is fighting for equal rights, not just for his daughters, but for all women across the country. And at the same time, winning the father of the year award.
His understanding of the country's citizens
"You're tired of hearing promises made and plans proposed in the heat of a campaign only to have nothing change when everyone goes back to Washington." - February 5th, 2008
While some talk about their plans for the future, Obama acts on his plans. He makes promises with the clear intention of keeping them.
His praise for the future
“What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world." - June 15th, 2008
Not only does Obama understand the importance of now, and being in the moment, but also that we need to look ahead to the future, to our children.
Even though he may not be our president anymore, he will continue to do amazing things. Fight for women's rights, celebrate the next generation, be a loving husband and father. No matter what house, or what arena he's in, Obama will continue to better our country each and every day. So, thank you Obama. Thank you for being compassionate and brave. Thank you for speaking your mind. Thank you for teaching the world what it means to be an incredible person. Thank you for being someone I have looked up to these past eight years. Thank you.