Writing for the Huffington Post, Sounding Like a No-No author Francesca Royster builds from President Obama’s speech from his second inauguration to examine his role as a prominent African-American father and what Obama’s perspective as a parent does–and could–bring to his policy agenda.
“Given the history of images of black fathers in the country, President Obama reveals that we are still in the midst of a moment of extraordinary change in terms of race,” Royster said. “But we are still not post-racial as a society, despite claims to the contrary. President Obama shows us that that positive images of black fatherhood are still rare in our culture.” She notes that, while Bill Cosby offered a positive representation throughout the 1980s through the sitcom that bore his name, “his image of benevolent, chivalric patriarch — all-knowing, and unquestioningly financially secure, is one that anyone would have difficulty to live up to.”
Royster sees Obama as more relateable despite his position of high authority, “imperfect but committed” both as a father and a president. And, just as he has sincerely reached out to the victims of recent tragedies, Royster hopes he will also “lead with his heart” in other matters of policy, including reconsidering drone strikes and ensuring veterans have adequate care.
“President Obama’s image as a protective, tender and compassionate father gives me hope for his second term.”
Read the full op-ed at Huffington Post.