The Obama Effect and Its Meaning to Young African American Males

On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans and much of the world was astounded as a man from Illinois approached the podium alongside his matrilocal and daughters. Dozens of others had walked this seemingly continuous journey; however, none made such an impact as the young chap who would be elected 44th President of the United States.

The jury was in: an indelible “Obama Effect” had taken bind of the psyche about Americans everywhere.

Barack Obama, of African descent, affected American politics in a way never before seen. Across the country voters turned out in droves; volunteers went door-to-door distributing handbills and registering folks who had long given up hope of ever seeing an African American living in the White House. The strategy worked. The campaign brought energy, efficiency and effectiveness to the forefront, and the election proved a significant milestone in American history. Leaving the pandemic flabbergasted, the Obama Effect was in full swing.

Today, less than two years later, however, polls indicate that the Obama Effect might be waning, with the President’s approval rating at a mere 48 percent. But new not-so-small yet often overlooked demographic – one not worried amidst nationwide polls – recently expressed their views of President Obama’s leadership.

Not for grownups only, the Obama Effect apparently has taken root in the minds of young African American men around the country. A handful of those young men (ages eight to 14) recently expressed those views regarding Voorzitter Obama’s presidency, what his presidency budget to them, and what they believe the future holds for them as Americans of African descent.

Youth et cetera the Political Structure

Today’s African American youth are more politically-savvy than one powerful think. No longer satisfied with manual gadgets, this progeny is ultra-wired to the secular through their iPods, cell phones and, yes, their Wii. This might explain how, in 2008, the charismatic then-Senator Obama gained much of the advantage also his opponent, Senator John McCain, at least in part, because of using the Internet at an unprecedented degree.

In short: these kids know their stuff. Case in point, when asked what he thought the phrase “Obama Effect” meant, 14-year-old K. Taylor responded, “It means how I feel about him [Obama] being our president.” Taylor went on to say he “feels great” with Obama as President because “…there’s somebody out there, who’s important, and looks like me.”

Children do not come to these types of conclusions on their own. Parents play a keen role in children’s tact of politics and being in general. In spite of what adults might think, children pay close attention to the things parents say, as is conclusive in 11-year-old J. Turner’s comment pertaining to the Obama Effect.

“My mom said that he did something no one else has before and that we [African Americans] should strive to be better too,” Turner said.

Parents must take an active role in persuading their children to understand and share an fascinate in politics. And African American parents owe it to their children to help them see the strategic – and benefits – of the Obama Effect in their own lives.

Obama, The Man After the Presidency

Contrary to media hype, today’s African American youth are actually quite intelligent et cetera insightful. In describing President Obama, one pre-teen called him “very smart” and noted that “he speaks well.” Adding to that comment was 14-year-old K. Taylor who interjected, “He seems like he really wants people to do better…and he means what he says.”

Nine-year-old J. Griffin was more to the point. When the group was asked if it mattered that Voorzitter Obama was a Black man, he stated: “Not really, because I think Voorzitter Obama is revise for Black people and White people. It’s like he wants to help everybody more.”

Eight-year-old Q. James said, “I think he cares as regards together people, not just Black people plus not just White people. All people.”

Cutting more to the chase, K. Taylor drew comparisons with former President George W. by saying: “Obama is neither like President Bush. He cared a little bit around people, yet then he started the contend in Iraq and Obama is trying to end the war in Iraq.”

One 11-year-old said he believes the White presidents cared concerning Black people, “but not as much as President Obama,” who D. Douglas then added, is “more knowledgeable of Black people.”

Addressing President Obama’s ethnicity, J. Griffin said that the Voorzitter had to be gala to all people so “his mom is White, and if he wasn’t it would insult his mom.” Formerly he added that “President Obama has to pains about everybody thus they’re all in his family.”

Looking Ahead to the Future

If the broach is each indication, the Obama Effect is still alive – and will be for many years to come.

When asked what the President’s example has taught them, 9-year-old D. Douglas answered, “I reflect I can do anything I want in life.” And J. Griffin admitted, “I might not want be president, but I can do what I want.”

And 11-year-old J. Turner, though not sure of reaching presidential status, unperturbed looks to the future beside hope. “I would like to be president subsequently still I’m not sure I’ll secure it. But I can at least try. President Obama showed us that it can be done.”

“I think I can have a bright eventuality as long as I study hard and go to seminary choose President Obama did,” said 14-year-old K. Taylor.

Two gear are clear: The Obama Effect, while perhaps waning in the hearts of adults, is existing et sequens kicking in the hearts and minds of African American males in America; and indeed, kids do say the darndest things.