Children’s books on Obama

My six-year-old son was a staunch Hillary supporter. I didn’t have a problem with that; I was happy his mind was open to a woman president. What bothered me, however, was his attitude toward Obama. “I don’t want a Black president,” I overheard him say to a playmate. And he got quite emotional on caucus night when my wife stood in line to vote for Obama and wouldn’t allow him to stand in the Hillary line.

My 26-year-old daughter was a Hillary supporter, too. Again, I didn’t mind. She wanted to vote for a woman, and I’m glad that, for the first time in history, she had that option. But I can’t help but wonder, based on some of her comments, if she was opposed to the idea of having a Black president, too.

I work for the media, so I can’t reveal my support for any candidate (and, no I didn’t attend the caucuses with my wife). But I can say, regardless of who wins this election, I am thankful for Obama. He’s planted a seed. My son can aspire to be President, if he so desires, and it’s no longer such a far fetched idea.

On the night Obama accepted his party’s nomination, I insisted my son watch. He didn’t protest, but said, “Dad, I don’t wanna be President. I wanna be a basketball player like Kobe Bryant.”

I was cool with that, too.

Here are a couple of new children and YA books on Obama:

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Bryan Collier, ages 9-12, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Obama: A Promise of Change, by David Mendell, ages 9-12, Amistad

And of course, there’s this and this, too.

–Don

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4 Responses to Children’s books on Obama

  1. paulahy says:

    Very cool that your son had an opinion. Very!

  2. olugbemisola says:

    i agree — love how this election is fostering some meaningful and thoughtful discussion among all ages.

  3. dewey says:

    I can’t really imagine not wanting someone for president (or anything else) based on either race or gender. It’s a surprise to me to hear that kids raised in what sounds like a pretty progressive household might have these feelings. I wonder if they hear things at school that they can’t really process?

    As far as your adult daughter goes, I wonder if she has similar feelings I had? I was thrilled that one way or another, the Democratic candidate would be either a woman or a black man, so that for the first time in history, if the Democrats won, we would have a president who isn’t a white male. But earlier on, I was more drawn to Clinton in spite of the fact that she’s too conservative for me because I’m a woman and I identify more with wanting a woman president than wanting another male president of any race. Later, I realized that I prefer Obama if I’m not considering anything but what the candidates stand for. Maybe your daughter just prefers Clinton for feminist reasons but still admires Obama? Maybe what she would like most of all is a black female president. :)

    I do wonder why you use Obama’s last name but Hillary’s first name. I’ve rarely seen people refer to a political candidate by his first name when that candidate has been a man.

  4. Don Tate says:

    @dewey: I referred to the candidates how they are referring to themselves. Most Obama materials I’ve seen — posters, yard signs, buttons — have used his last name. While Hillary had used her first name on most promotional materials. Great observation about my daughter; I think you’re probably right.

    What’s interesting is that my son doesn’t appear to have an opinion either way now that it’s Obama vs. McCain.

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