Monday, June 17, 2024

A Glimpse of Greatness: Young Barack Obama’s Path to Leadership | VIDEO

Barack Obama giving-a-speech-at-a-political-rally-in-Philadelphia-Pennsylvania.
Barack Obama

*There are certain names in history that, regardless of their race, gender, or nationality, are rightfully deserving of all the respect and love they receive. Barack Hussein Obama falls under this category, inspiring people from all ages and walks of life. But where did it all start? How did he pave his way to become the first African-American President of the United States of America? Here’s a glimpse into the life of young Barack Obama and his eventual path to greatness and leadership.

Parents & Childhood

Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. His parents, Barack Obama Sr., a Luo ethnicity Kenyan, and S. Ann Dunham, a white American from Kansas, met while studying at the University of Hawaii and married soon after.

Obama Sr. left his family when Obama was two to pursue further studies at Harvard University and went on to become an economist in the government of Kenya. He would only meet his son once more before dying in a car accident in 1982.

Meanwhile, after their separation in 1964, Ann became an anthropologist and remarried in 1965 to Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian international student. With her new husband and young son, she moved to Jakarta in the 1960s and started working at the U.S. embassy. Obama continued living with his mother, stepfather, and half-sister, Maya Soetoro, between the ages of six and ten, attending various Catholic and Muslim schools.

Barack Obama as a child
Barack Obama as a child

“I was raised as an Indonesian child and a Hawaiian child and as a Black child and as a white child. And so I benefited from the diversity of cultures that all fed me.”


Worried about his schooling, Obama’s mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn, and Stanley Dunham, at age ten. In Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama attended the Punahou School, an elite private academy from which he graduated in 1979.

In his memoir, Dreams From My Father, Obama remembers that his time in Punahou was his first time understanding the tensions regarding his mixed racial background.

Soon after, he enrolled in the Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia University and earning a B.A in political science in 1983.

Barack Obama - young man via Flicker
Barack Obama – young man via Flicker

For the next three years, Obama worked as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project in Chicago. During his time there, he learned the limitations of working on such a localized stage. “I just can’t get things done here without a law degree.” This convinced him to register at Harvard Law School.

Obama excelled in all fields at Harvard. He graduated magna cum laude in 1991 and was elected the first African American President of the notable Harvard Law Review. By this stage, young Barack Obama had acquired the education and exposure needed to kick-start his political career in the best possible way.

Early Life & Marriage


After graduating and returning to Chicago in 1992, Obama acted as the executive director of the Illinois Project Vote, aimed at expanding the number of Black turnout in the upcoming elections.

He also accepted the position of an associate attorney in the civil rights law firm of Davis Miner, Barnhill & Galland in 1993, mainly focusing on cases related to voting rights. Obama was also hired as a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he continued to teach three courses per year from 1992 to 2003.

Before starting his second year at Harvard, Obama worked as a summer associate at the Chicago corporate law firm of Sidley and Austin under the mentorship of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson. She was also a fellow Harvard law graduate.

Soon, the relationship blossomed between the two, and after dating for two years, the pair got married on October 3, 1992, at the Trinity United Church of Christ. They continue to be in a loving relationship 31 years later, with two daughters, Malia and Natasha.

Political Career

In 1996, on advice from his friends, Obama ran for a vacant state Senate seat as a Democrat and was elected to the Illinois Senate in the 13th legislative district. As a state senator, he passed regulations for expanding health care services to low-income families and improved the criminal justice and welfare laws.

He also acted as the co-chairman of the joint committee on administrative rules and a democratic spokesperson for the public health and welfare committee. He was an active member of the judiciary and revenue committees.

While Obama served a second term in the Illinois State Senate in 1998, he soon suffered a loss in the 2000 elections against the more popular, four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. This marked the first time he had run for the U.S. Congress. In 2004, he was re-elected to the U.S. Senate, representing Illinois, making him the fifth African-American senator in the history of the United States.

Speaking at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts, Obama delivered a moving speech about the connection between Americans, regardless of their cultural, political, and geographical differences. This keynote address, combined with his best-selling memoir, The Audacity of Hope, which talked about his vision for the United States, earned him national recognition and made him a significant figure within his party.

On February 10, 2007, at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, Barack Obama formally announced that he would run for President of the United States. The Democratic Party nominated him in Invesco Stadium, Denver.

Obama’s years of hard work eventually bore fruit when he was officially elected as the first African-American President of the United States on November 4, 2008. His inauguration as the 44th President was conducted on January 20, 2009.

“You and I, as citizens, have an obligation to shape the debates of our time – with our voices we lift and the votes we cast – to defend our enduring ideals and ancient values.”

Life After the White House

Obama served as the President from January 20, 2009, until January 20, 2017. During his tenure, he worked tirelessly to improve the political, social, and healthcare conditions of the United States. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his excellent efforts to strengthen international relations and cooperation between the people.

While his presidency has officially come to an end, Obama continues to inspire people globally with his public speeches and best-selling novels. To put it in simple terms, the greatness of Barack Obama continues to live on and prosper long after the end of his life at the White House.

Millions worldwide still look upon his vision for the future of the United States of America, and the path of the young Obama teaches them to stay determined in their beliefs and mission.

“I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change but in yours.”President Barack Obama

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: 25 Facts About Barack Obama – The Man Behind the Presidency | PHOTOs

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