Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2009 Issue »

    Youth Voices

    My Hero, Barack Obama

    Darion Lyon
    2nd grade, P.S. 66, Brooklyn, New York

    If his mommy decided not to carry him,
    If he decided not to go to school and get an education
    If he decided not to be a good, law obeying citizen
    If he decided not to be a loving and caring person
    If he decided to turn the other way, he would not be
    Your hero, our hero, and my hero.

    Barack Obama, our first African American president of the United States, took office on January 20, 2009. I made Barack Obama my hero when my mommy woke me up that Wednesday morning in November and told me he won. I told her that I knew who I wanted to write my report about now. She told me “no” because everyone would be doing their report about him too.

    I think by now everyone knows the history about Barack Obama, where he was born and where he lives. But a hero they do not know yet. A hero is a legend, a man born with great courage and strength, who has risked and sacrificed his life for others. Obama is that man risking his life as others before him. Making my mommy yell his name, my grandpa cry, and my grandma rejoice by dancing. He is everyone’s hero because he has changed the world. In year 2039, I hope to change it too, just like he did—change history.
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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
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