Black men in America: The Obama effect
One year after the historic election of President Barack Obama, CNN, HLN and Essence Magazine are taking an unprecedented look at his impact on black men in America. Obama has urged black men to take responsibility for their lives and families and he's called on all Americans to volunteer to help restore their communities.
In Emerging leaders energized in the black community, "The election of President Obama not only galvanized many to get involved, but it also further invigorated those already in the trenches."
By transforming his activism as a community organizer into a career as a superstar politician and ultimately commander-in-chief, Obama energized grassroots workers and imbued them with a sense of validation.
Leadership is a vital concept in the African-American community and has shaped its history.
Taking a leadership role is a personal responsibility, said Richard Lewis, one of the architects of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Chamber Connect program, which began two years ago "to identify, harvest and grow future leadership."
Lewis said he believes leadership comes about when desire meets hard work and a determination to succeed.
"People are waiting to be anointed," Lewis said. "They are waiting for somebody to empower them when really, if you see a problem and feel impassioned and believe you can contribute an answer, then you need to step up."
The Special Report with Richelle Carey and Don Lemon will air Saturday October 31 at 10 PM ET and Sunday, November 1 at 7 PM ET on CNN.
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