Born on August 4, 1961, and named as Barrack Hussein Obama, Jr. by his parents who were a Kenya-born Harvard-educated economist and a Caucasian anthropologist (White, 2008). At the age of two, his parents were divorced and when his mother married an Indonesian man, the family moved to Jakarta. Although his father and step-father were Muslim, Obama chose to be a Christian wherein he attended secular and Catholic schools rather than a madrassa. He then moved back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents and attend school. He went on to study political science at Columbia University in New York, and then moved to Chicago where he spent three years as a community organizer(Profile: Barack Obama, 2008).
In 1988 he left to attend Harvard Law School, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. After Harvard, Obama returned to Chicago to practice civil rights law, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination (Ibid).
With his upbringing and educational background, Obama have made a name in the political arena. His charisma, personality and presence have made him a notable African-American politician. Part of what sets Obama apart in the Senate is his relative youth. He is one of the first senators born in the 1960s, in a chamber dominated by greatest-generation colleagues, Obama is more likely to find peers on his staff than on the Senate floor. He has cordial but not close relations with party elders.
He prefers to discuss issues in his own words, and reframing topics as he goes . The senators highest-profile ventures have been bipartisan, including a tutelage in nuclear nonproliferation that took Obama to Eastern Europe and Russia. It was an effort to bring transparency to government and a push for immigration reform. Obama is also known for his initiative in raising e the threat of avian flu on the Senate floor and has spoken out for victims of Hurricane Katrina, pushed for alternative-energy development, and championed improved veterans benefits ( Graff, 2006).
Obamas biggest accomplishments as a freshman senator have taken place outside the Capitol. His Call to Renewal speech at Washington DCs National City Christian Church was perhaps the most important dissection of the political world and the role of faith made by any Democratic politician in a generation.
He argued that faith was an important part of the American reform tradition but Americans must remember that it was the most religious founders who insisted on the separation of church and state so people could not be persecuted for their beliefs. More broadly, he has inspired in a generation of political activists a measure of hope for a better, more united America. Obama emphasized that Americans are seeking guidance in the uncertainty of modern life, and for politics to ignore, or even belittle that search for meaning is a disservice to the nation. He stated that,They need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them”that they are not just destined to travel down the long highway towards nothingness (Ibid).
One of the reasons why Obama have made such an appeal to all over the world is because his life is the embodiment of the American dream. He came from a broken family and was brought up modestly. Despite this, he still managed to a become a community organizer, civil rights attorney, progressive leader and a loving husband to his wife and a responsible father to his two daughters. His accomplishments are a testament that anyone can be a somebody as long as they put their hearts and souls in achieving their dream. Obamas journey to the presidency have given hope particularly to Black Americans that they are not a marginalized group in the American society. His story have inspired a lot of people to make a difference before its too late.
BBC. (2008 January 30). Profile: Barack Obama. Retrieved February 21, 2008, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3936013.stm
Graff, G.M. (2006). The Legend of Barack Obama. Washingtonian.com. Retrieved February 2008, from http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/mediapolitics/1836.html
White, D. (2008). US Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. New York Times Company. Retrieved February 21, 2008, from http://usliberals.about.com/od/congressionalleadership/p/SenObama.htm