“Barack Obama: The First Term 2009-2012,” a photo exhibit at the Howard University Moorland Spingarn Research Center, showcases the many images of President Barack Obama’s first term in office.
The 55 photos, taken by official White House photographer Pete Souza, tell the story of President Obama’s first term with images of the President sitting in a park with fellow U.S. citizens, meeting with world leaders or standing in white shirt, necktie and bare feet in Burma. Barack Obama: The exhibit will be available for viewing until Feb. 28.
The exhibit, filled with Howard faculty, students and local professionals, displayed not only a variety of photographs of the President, but also just as many viewpoints on the success of President Obama’s first term. The general consensus, however, being that it is just as important this time, as it was in 2009.
“You get a picture of an extraordinary, complex man figuring out how to be President without losing his sense of self as a father, as a husband, as a human being,” says Howard Dodson, curator of the exhibit. “The images that are here give you a sense of all of those dimensions of him.”
Dodson, like many others at the exhibit opening Jan. 17, were simply grateful to be a part of the event honoring the President. “It’s very special, I’m very honored to be a part of history,” said Sharon Ford, a representative from Plaza Art in Silver Spring, Md., the company that provided the frames for the exhibit.
“This is a historic moment and a huge milestone in American history so it is appropriate that Howard does something about he first black president,” said Tewodros Abebe, senior archivist at the Moorland Spingarn Research Center. “This is really a meaningful thing to do.”
The man behind the lens, Pete Souza, is not only a seasoned photographer but also a staple in the White House, serving as the chief official White House photographer for not only the Obama administration but also during the second term of the Reagan administration. He also currently serves as the Director of the White House Photo Office.
As expected at any event focusing on President Obama’s first term, there were several opinions about the time that he has spent in office and hopes for the second term. “I think if I had one thing that’s been a disappointment to me it could be summarized in two words, better choices,” said Dr. Greg Carr, Afro-American studies professor and advisory board member at Howard University.