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The Power Of A President

By / 05.29.12

Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

The above photo, shot by The White House photographer Pete Souza, is over three years old, but still hangs in the West Wing today. In it, President Obama’s leaning forward to solve the curiosity of a then five-year-old Jacob Philadelphia.

“Three years ago this month, his father, Carlton, a former Marine, was leaving the White House staff after a two-year stint on the National Security Council that began in the Bush administration. As departing staff members often do, Mr. Philadelphia asked for a family photograph with Mr. Obama.

When the pictures were taken and the family was about to leave, Mr. Philadelphia told Mr. Obama that his sons each had a question. In interviews, he and his wife, Roseane, said they did not know what the boys would ask. The White House photographer, Pete Souza, was surprised, too, as the photo’s awkward composition attests: The parents’ heads are cut off; Jacob’s arm obscures his face; and his older brother, Isaac, is blurry.

Jacob spoke first.

“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.

Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.

“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.

As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.

“So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.

“Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said. [NY Times]

While adults may be divided on where they stand in regard to the President, children – particularly young Black kids – perhaps see the simple face value of having a person of color holding the executive office and the hope it creates.

Source: NY Times


TAGSEDUTAINMENTEVERYTHING ELSEPete SouzaPresident Barack ObamaSMOKE BREAK

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