Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    Let’s Erase Racism with Obama!

    Vivian Maika O’Connor
    5th grade, Cornell School, Albany, California

    My name is Vivian Maika O’Connor. I am Japanese American and have an African American stepfather. I think it is a huge difference to have an African American president. On the night of the election I thought that this was the most important and fascinating news I had ever watched. Because Barack Obama is African American, it will make a change for all. Since I was in kindergarten, I wanted to have some kind of superpower. When I first heard about Obama, I wanted to have the power to take away racism, but unfortunately I didn’t. Sometimes I hear people say things that are racist without realizing it. For example, a girl who goes to my school said, “There are too many black people in Oakland, so I don’t want to go there.” That was very racist even when she didn’t realize it. Obama is contributing to Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that all people can be equal. I read Obama’s letter to his children and to every child in America, and it meant a lot to me because I really want to go to college when I grow up. I think if there is less racism there will be more of a chance that many people will go to college.
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    Summer 2009 Issue


    Editors’ Introduction
    Note to Educators
    Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete
    Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade
    A Dialogue
    Our Selves, Our Students, and Obama
    Jennifer McLaughlin and Kim Kelly
    President Obama and Education
    The Possibility for Dramatic Improvements in Teaching and Learning
    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Promise and Peril
    Charter Schools, Urban School Reform, and the Obama Administration
    Charles Payne and Tim Knowles
    Reclaiming Our Freedom to Teach
    Education Reform in the Obama Era
    Megan Behrent
    Obama’s Dilemma
    Postpartisan Politics and the Crisis of American Education
    Henry A. Giroux
    Second-Class Integration
    A Historical Perspective for a Contemporary Agenda
    Vanessa Siddle Walker
    Equity and Empathy
    Toward Racial and Educational Achievement in the Obama Era
    Prudence L. Carter
    It Wasn’t Easy to Get Here
    Kathleen Mayse
    Obama, Where Art Thou?
    Hoping for Change in U.S. Education Policy
    Wayne Au
    Praise Song for Teachers
    A Call to Action
    Ariane White
    Educating Latino Immigrant Students in the Twenty-First Century
    Principles for the Obama Administration
    Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
    Education for Everyday People
    Obstacles and Opportunities Facing the Obama Administration
    Gloria Ladson-Billings
    An Insurrectionary Generation
    Young People, Poverty, Education, and Obama
    Jay Gillen
    An Earned Insurgency
    Quality Education as a Constitutional Right
    Robert P. Moses
    Barack Obama and the Fight for Public Education
    William Ayers
    Coda: The Slow Fuse of Change
    Obama, the Schools, Imagination, and Convergence
    Maxine Greene