‘Our children can become president, too’: Obama’s presidency was a dream realized

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-01-20 14:44Z by Steven

‘Our children can become president, too’: Obama’s presidency was a dream realized

The Grio

Kevin Cokley, Professor of Educational Psychology; Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Large crowds watch the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on a large screen in the neighborhood of Harlem on January 20, 2009, in New York City. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Friday marks the end of an historic and improbable presidency of Barack Hussein Obama, the first black president of the United States.

In his 2008 victory speech, President Obama emphasized a message of hope and said that “change had come to America.” His presidency marked what some believed was a milestone in race relations and the ushering in of a “postracial” country.

For African-Americans, President Obama was a powerful symbol of what African-Americans could achieve in a country stained by a history of anti-black racism and oppression. So, what was the psychological impact of Barack Obama’s presidency on black America?

As an African-American professor of psychology and Black Studies and a scholar on racial identity, I am particularly interested in this question. The election of Obama as president was an indicator for some African-Americans that racism against blacks was finally decreasing. Black people became much more optimistic about the ‘American dream.’…

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