In honor of Black History Month, the Department of History and Political Science hosted a forum Thursday with the topic: “President Barack Obama: A One Year Assessment.”
The panel consisted of seven Florida A&M professors.
The panel discussed President Obama’s historic win as the first African-American president and the responsibility he may have to the African-American community.
Panelist Will Guzman, a visiting assistant history professor, said Obama can create jobs geared towards African-Americans.
“I feel that there are programs that can be targeted to specific counties where black people are in the majority so that they can reap the benefit,” Guzman said.
Robert King, a senior math student from New York, N.Y., said he has high expectations from Obama during his presidency.
“The president is a leader; I voted for him because of that,” said King. “I will hold him accountable for everything he does during his term regardless of race.”
Russel Motley, a former anchor in Jacksonville and a journalism graduate student, said he feels that President Obama must be conscious of his obligation to all Americans.
“He does have to walk a fine line. He is a political figure, so he doesn’t want to appear to be the black president,” Motley said. Although some believe Obama is the president for every American, Manny Walton, 20, a sophomore biology student, said Obama should assist African-Americans in every way possible.
“In my career field, there aren’t many blacks,” Walton said. “He should focus on creating more jobs for blacks in my field.”
Obama inherited two wars and faces a rough economy with high unemployment rates.
Motley said he believes the media has been too hard on Obama because journalists are focused on the wrong things.
“They’ve been too hard on President Obama. They’ve been too focused on other things rather than him actually pushing through his policy”.