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Published:April 14th, 2012 18:44 EST

Barack Obama: Great Role Model For Black Children

By Robert Paul Reyes

The President of the United States is not only the head of the executive branch and the commander-in-chief, he`s also the pastor-in chief. When there`s a natural disaster, a terrorist attack or any other crisis, we eagerly await for the president`s response. We cling to his every word, trying to glean as much hope and comfort as possible.


Throughout the 200 plus years of our history it`s always been a white leader that we look to for solace, but now the buck stops at the desk of an African American.

President-elect Barack Obama is a Harvard educated lawyer, an eloquent speaker, and an accomplished writer, and most Americans believe that he has the intelligence and good judgment to rescue our country from its deep economic crisis and to extract us from the quagmire in Iraq.

We will expect not only intellectual leadership from Obama, but also empathy and reassurance during difficult times. For Americans to rely upon a black leader for hope and peace of mind is a milestone in race relations.

On TV and in the movies black men are usually portrayed as dangerous men who should be feared. We are all familiar with the media stereotype of the African American man as a pimp, thief or gangsta. Barack Obama has smashed these pernicious stereotypes; we were amazed an encouraged by the grace and calm that he displayed during the presidential campaign, and we are convinced that he will display these same traits as President of the United States.

I hope that all children, but especially black kids, will consider Obama a worthy role model. Too many black kids see sports and the entertainment business as the only way out of the inner city. But Obama has proved that a black person can achieve success in any arena, and that there is no ceiling that a person of color can`t shatter.

But there are no shortcuts to success in the realms of business or politics, to succeed you must have a college education. You can drop out of high school and still become a successful rapper, but there is no way you can become a lawyer, teacher, CEO, scientist or President of the United States without graduating from a university.

The American Dream is still alive, but parents must stress to their children that a solid college education is the only way to bring their dreams to fruition. Many black students feel that if they excel in school they will be perceived by their peers as sellouts, as a consequence they don`t apply themselves and they end up dropping out. It is not a badge of honor to be a functional illiterate who is only qualified to flip burgers or sell crack. Black leaders must stress to inner city youngsters the necessity of getting a good education if they want to escape the shackles of poverty.

Hopefully there are now multitudes of young black teens who are dreaming of becoming a Barack Obama or a Colin Powell instead of a Snoop Dogg or a 50 cent.

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Editors Note: This article was originally published on November, 11 2008 and it has been widely circulated online.

It has been mentioned in the following book:

The Psychology of Social and Cultural Diversity by Richard Crisp


Do I still plan on voting for Obama? Yes


Do I still think Obama is a great role model for kids? Yes


Photo Credit: Wikipedia