Freedom Now! 1968 as a Turning Point for Black American Student Activism
Two weeks before Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell gave an unprecedented endorsement of Obama’s campaign: ‘I think we need a generational change, and I think Senator Obama has captured the feelings of the young people of America, and is reaching out in a more diverse, inclusive way across our society’ (Halperin 2008). Obama’s decisive victory suggests that Colin Powell may be onto something. In particular, the 2008 Presidential campaign galvanized American youth as an increasingly visible political force in US politics and, in the case of the Obama campaign, pushed a multi-ethnic youth population as potential voters and workers to the forefront of the campaign itself.2 When seen against the backdrop of the seeming political quiescence of American youth in pre-2004 Presidential campaigns, the resurgence of visible political activism among youth was startling.3 The November 2008 election not only was a watershed event for American electoral politics, it also may mark a substantial turning point in the political activism of American youth and the so-called Millennial Generation in particular.4
KeywordsAfrican American Woman American Student Black Student African American Youth Political Thought
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