letters "to obama" {freedom academy, brooklyn}

exclusive feature
Jennifer Bryant
{Brooklyn, NY}
The Liberator Magazine 8.1 #23, 2009
(artwork: Joseph Lamour)


Dear President Obama,

I am really happy that you are president. Now I know that it doesn’t matter about your color or your ethnic background, you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it. But now that you are president it’s a matter of doing what needs to be done. Saying it is half the battle. You said “the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.” Well, I hope so, because in my heart I feel you are going to make some changes in America. And if not, the world and I would be very disappointed.

Most of the people in my community would be disappointed. Where I live is very crazy. I live in Coney Island. When you think about Coney Island, you probably think about the rides, the beach, cotton candy and games; but it goes way deeper than that. From 19th street up to 36th street it’s a pure disgrace. You have a variety of problems in my community: drugs, gangs, getting shot, homeless people and more. There are many things in Coney Island that need to change, and most people in Coney Island voted for you so you can make those changes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s our choice if we want to make a change in ourselves, but sometimes it’s hard. So, all I’m asking is, can you make more programs for the youth to show them that there’s something better in life, and give them a chance to do the right thing, like you did?

I also have some important things to ask you, Mr. Obama. How are you going to achieve the goals you set for this country (like taxes, more education and schools, more jobs and less tuition fees for college)? I’m 15 years old so that would really help me in the future, and it should help others who are 18 and older now. Also, what are you going to do with the homeless? Will you give them shelter? Will you give them food? Will you care for them?

Some advice I would give you is to make the right decisions, be smart, try your hardest every day, and when things get hard, don’t abandon America. Please be consistent and bring peace and prosperity to this country. And last but not least, good luck President Obama.
(Khaliq Kizer, Freedom Academy)

Dear President Obama,

I am a 15-year-old girl who is completely in favor of your plans. I think that we, as a country, should all help. I believe sitting around waiting for a change is horrible. I was listening to the inauguration yesterday, and I felt uplifted when you said, “…that we are in the midst of a crisis is now well understood. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: they will be met.”

I felt as if you read my mind and knew exactly how I felt. I believe that the crises we go through are very difficult but, again, because it is difficult that should make us try harder to overcome them. No one ever said that it was going to be easy, so we shouldn’t act as if it’s going to be. Now that you addressed it, I’m sure everyone else feels the same as we do. You are an inspiration for us to really get involved. As a high school student, I will help by doing my work to succeed and help the community with community service. I’ll just try my best. I appreciate the effort you are making to help us and it really is an honor to have you as our president.
(Deloris Mitchell, Freedom Academy)

Dear Mr. Obama,

Congratulations on becoming president. My name is Latefah Hamilton and I live in Brooklyn, New York. I am also a 15-year-old student who attends Freedom Academy High School. I’m on my way to becoming a social worker. For the next four years you’ll be leading the country, so my future depends on you.

Immigrants are a big issue in America today. My mother and I came here from Trinidad and Tobago in search of a better life. My mother came here as an immigrant working long hours and spending very little time with me. With the very little money she makes, she still pays her taxes, often getting nothing in return. My mother treats America like her own country. My question to you is how would you feel if one of your sweet girls’ dreams were crushed because they were not citizens of a country and there was nothing you could do?

Well, that’s how my mother feels knowing that it will be difficult for her to help me fulfill my dream of becoming a social worker. If you put yourself in my mother’s place, picture the look in her eyes seeing her baby girl unable to fulfill her dream -- even though she has the ability. All I ask of you as the president is to please help my mother fulfill my dreams of becoming a social worker. Think about the thousands of undocumented immigrants who are working hard, paying taxes and trying to better themselves.
(Latefah Hamilton, Freedom Academy)

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