Barack Obama on Community Organizing

Although slightyl time-intensive, i read the entire Barack Obama posting and greatly enjoyed it.  I thought he caputred not only the many prroblems that plague inner-city communiities, but also the importance of grassroots mobilization within those troubled communities. After diiscussing the article with a friend, we ammused ourselves over the possibility that Barack Obama was planning a run for the presidency the second he goot out of college..that or the guy just really really gets it.

Anyway, its interesting reading this 20 years after-the-fact, with the man writing it serving as president of the US.  It makes one quite hopeful for what the administration might bring.  It’s interesting that Obama was writing about the need for grassroots representation over the iconic poster-boy prominent black political figure.

I would say the highlight of the article was “Blatant discrimination has been replaced by institutional racism; problems like teen pregnancy, gang involvement and drug abuse cannot be solved by money alone.” Obama goes on to talk about the exodus of the middle-class black community into the suburbs, and the loss of human capital that this creates within communities. He advocates for strong community and regional cohesion and the need for local leaders taking up the community’s cause. I definitely agree that without these things, inner-city communities will be plagued by their many problems. Individuals living within these communities cannot sit idly by and wait for their problems to be fixed by a mayor, or even by a president Obama, but must rise up and take up their own interests and fight for change.


3 Responses to “Barack Obama on Community Organizing”

  1. skasbari993 Says:

    Yeah, reading this and realizing where his sense of obligation lies, prior to his run for office (of any form), definitly gives me a good feeling about his moral stance and his true care of the people.

  2. speakout4u Says:

    I also liked Obama’s article. It is ridiculous that Palin and Guilani made fun of his position. How can an elected official even compare their position to the “in the trenches” work of community organizing? It was interesting to read about his experience confronting the skepticism and pessimism of the people. Even a charismatic leader like Barrack Obama had a difficult time convincing the community to join together with the frustration of past failures. I am so glad that he had community organizing experience. To have that experience and still be optimistic about our future is very reassuring.

  3. samlg Says:

    The promotion of grassroots mobolization in diff. communities around the world is just as important today as it was when Obama wrote this article. The idea of community development includes AT LEAST a small group of active community members to organize projects, sign agreements, get local govt. to respond to local problems, etc. I say around the world because my community development work in a local township in South Africa lacked participatory citizenship; leaving the township waiting and hoping that the municipality would come to rebuild their community. The few active community members in the township were short in resources to help mobolize and empower the community, and the municipality’s ‘missed call’ of action left the township in the same condition.

    Without these active community members to mobolize the social upliftment everyone else is waiting for- How could progress be made? I agree that communities in situations of such struggle, must make collaborative efforts and design programs that will lead their communities to a sense of collective empowerment.

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