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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Most students express optimism for President Obama

A freshly inaugurated President Obama and his wife, Michelle, exit the Capitol, where he was sworn in as the 44th president Jan. 20.  Photo Courtesy MCT
A freshly inaugurated President Obama and his wife, Michelle, exit the Capitol, where he was sworn in as the 44th president Jan. 20. Photo Courtesy MCT

By Alex Muhindura/entertainment editor

Part one in a four-part Black History Month series on the theme of progress.

A freshly inaugurated President Obama and his wife, Michelle, exit the Capitol, where he was sworn in as the 44th president Jan. 20.  Photo Courtesy MCT
A freshly inaugurated President Obama and his wife, Michelle, exit the Capitol, where he was sworn in as the 44th president Jan. 20. Photo Courtesy MCT

The inauguration of President Obama touched millions of people across the world and hopes to usher in a new era of American history.

As the first black U.S. president, he has inspired many who once felt alienated from the political process.

“ It means that anything is possible,” NW Campus student Dynecia Foley said. “With him being president, it tells me that, coming to school, I can do anything. ”

The election, a major milestone in black history, provides a symbolic and substantive lift to the country. People who witnessed the civil rights movement find it astonishing that this country can be headed by a black man only one generation after segregation.

“ I remember the ’60s and Martin Luther King’s speech. The main part I got out of it was not to be judged by the color of your skin but the content of your character. Now, Barack Obama has achieved that after just 40 years,” said NE Campus speech instructor Michael Givens.

He said Obama represents a huge symbolic victory for black America. He has become a good role model, and his success will show children that education can lead to great things, Givens said. They will also know that if they work hard and learn, they will not be on the outside looking in.

“ I grew up in Harlem, and we didn’t see doctors and teachers in our neighborhood,” he said. “So we looked up to the people that had money. Now you can say there’s a president out there. It doesn’t seem out of reach. ”

The feeling that his presidency will give others opportunities also exists. Givens sees a future with more black CEOs and owners.

Some are out there, but he thinks the numbers will flourish with time. With that increase comes the hope of infusing capital into the poverty-stricken areas of the country.

The pervasive attitude, however, is optimism.

“ It’s a form of progress. You had to go beyond yourself and have an open mind,” NW Campus student Lamarcus Strickland said.

Amidst the progress and hope, obstacles still stand in the way. Givens said Obama was bound to succeed because certain people always stand out. What the black community must do is improve across the board and make sure his presidency is not the exception to the rule.

Some people are taking a more cautious approach. They want to wait and see what he actually does.
“ I think it’s going to be a slow process. What will really bring change is if he’s successful,” RTVB instructor Adrian Neely said.

Some were not impressed because it is still early.

“ Honestly, it (Obama’s election) doesn’t mean anything to me yet. He’s got to do something first, ” South Campus student Deshawn Jackson said.

Overall, his achievement has shown great growth from all parts of America. He unseated the ruling party, provided a role model for the youth and showed the world that Americans of all colors can look past their differences for a common purpose.

“ Obama’s presidency means a lot. It means not just change, but stepping out into something you may not be sure about, but hoping for the best,” SE Campus student Gabrielle Tareley said.

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