Youths Reflect On Obama Victory

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Brandon McFarland and Summer Sewell, both 20-somethings, are thrilled by Barack Obama's victory Tuesday night. They share their thoughts on what Obama's win means for their own ambitions as a young African-American man and a biracial woman.


Democrats aren't doing nearly as much soul-searching these days. One reason is the number of young people who turned out to support Barack Obama. One in five voters this year were between the ages of 18 and 29. And according to exit polls, President-elect Obama received two-thirds of those votes. Youth Radio's Brandon McFarland, an African-American, and Summer Sewell, who is biracial, have been thinking about what Obama's victory means for their own ambitions.

Ms. SUMMER SEWELL (Youth Radio): Obama does represent me, based on, I guess, first, most obviously that he's brown. Because of his ethnic background, he has to bring different influence into the White House, and that's something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. And now it seems so real, like why did I think for so long that I would never see it?

Mr. BRANDON MCFARLAND (Youth Radio): People are going to definitely look for us as black people, especially young black people, to act all high and mighty, because we have a president who's black and I'm all about that. Like, I'm with that. That's what James Brown was talking about. You know, what I'm saying, like being black and proud. I mean, Barack Obama is - he's my generation's MLK, he's my generation's Kennedy, and so I definitely feel the responsibility to keep up with what he's doing and where America is.

Ms. SEWELL: I feel hope, but more overwhelmingly, I feel nervous. I feel like now Obama is under a microscope and that he represents this larger group of black people, brown people, biracial people like myself. And he will be scrutinized more so that any president. And I don't want to see that take a toll on him.

NORRIS: That's 25 year-old Summer Sewell. We also heard from 22-year-old Brandon McFarland. Their story was produced by Youth Radio.

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