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Man-On-The-Street: Importance of President Obama’s Presidency

By Deja Lakin, Contributing Writer
Posted 1:25 PM EST, Mon., Nov. 28, 2016

In January 2017, President Barack Obama will be leaving the White House and president-elect Donald Trump will be his successor. Without a doubt the last eight years have been nothing short of historical. From healthcare reform, increased employment and advancements in the LGBT community, Obama has cemented his legacy in many ways. For students at Howard University, not only has his political achievements made an impact, but his presence as an African-American male in the White House has showed them anything is possible for Black Americans in this country. As his term comes to a close, students and faculty reflect on what the 44th presidency has meant to them:

“President Obama is an inspiration, an inspiration to not just be satisfied but to be great. I know that ‘Greatness is uncommon, therefore not achieved by the common man’, and that is what I’m striving to be.”
Jalen Garris, Senior, Psychology Major

“It means a lot, because having a Black president just opens the doors for a lot of people and shows younger generations that anything is possible.”
LaTysha Askew, Senior, Political Science Major

“Presidents Obama inspires me as a black male, because it lets me know that sky is the limit and you can do anything you put your mind to and you can be great no matter what circumstances you are born in to.”
Kabian Ritter, Senior, Chemistry Major

“It’s purely about representation for the youth, because a lot of kids don’t have role models that have any type of leadership status. So it’s great to see a black man, that looks like me or people in my family be the Leader Of The Free World, as they say.”
Tiyi Hicks, Sophomore, TV and Film Major

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“[Obama’s Presidency] means that black people have the ability to succeed regardless of what obstacles are placed in front of us it means that we no longer have an excuse for why we haven’t succeeded. It means there is hope.”
Chardae Heim, Senior, Political Science Major

“It means a lot to me because he was the first black man to become president and me being a little black girl from Tulsa, Oklahoma, I felt like I could do anything. It gave me courage.”
De’Juae Leathers, Sophomore, Political Science Major

“The implications of Obama’s presidency are much more than what he could have done for us in office. There are so many things beyond his presidency and the influence he has spread so much farther than what he can do in the span of eight years. It gave implications to other generations that things can change and can get better. And it gave the new generation hope that they could still succeed and be better than what was done in the past.”
Jaylen Kelley, Sophmore, TV and Film Major

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