Black History Month Spotlight: Barack Obama

A Black History Month Spotlight on Barack Obama


In honor of Black History Month, Glasgow Students celebrate people who have impacted the world in which we live.  This spotlight focuses on Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States.

Barack Hussein Obama II was the 44th president of the United States, elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He’s notable for being the first and only (so far) African-American president of the US. He is a member of the Democratic party, and he ran against John McCain. He brought hope to hundreds of politicians of color that they, too, could win elections and change the world. He introduced inclusive policy into many government institutions, including gender equality protections and anti-racist measures. 

He grew up in Hawaii, born to Barack Sr., a Kenyan economist, and Stanley Ann Dunham, an American anthropologist. He lived in Indonesia for much of his early childhood. He moved back to Hawaii before fifth grade, moving in with his maternal grandparents (mother’s parents) and attending Punahou School on scholarship for the rest of his time there. 

Then, after two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, he moved to Columbia University. He studied political science and international relations. After graduating, he worked in New York City and then as a community organizer in Chicago, helping people there find jobs and houses. In 1988 he went to Harvard Law and gained attention for being the first African-American president of Harvard Law Review. He then moved back to Chicago and joined a law firm specializing in civil rights.

He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, and then the US senate in 2004. While at the Democratic National Convention that summer, he gave a speech that was very popular, enough that people pronounced him to be a future president. In 2008, he was elected to the presidency. He made health care much more accessible to many Americans and supported minorities’ protections while in office.

Barack Obama is a role model for any students who are looking to lead in the future. He made history as the first African-American president, while supporting the people that needed his support the most.

Sources: Biography on Barack Obama