DVD Review | Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey

16 01 2009

0808_OBAMA Cover
Today as we sit several days away from the Inauguration of the 44th President, it is easy to forget the tumultuous battle that helped elect Barack Obama. Part historical reference and part a testament of the greatness of this country, his path is examined in the inspirational new DVD, “Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey.”

Produced in conjunction with the Johnson Publishing Company (Jet/Ebony), the documentary unspools the story of the most unlikely candidate that America has ever seen tracing his path from the steps of the Illinois State House to Chicago Grant Park. Narrated by Blair Underwood and featuring several prominent actors, politicians and friends, “Journey” starts with Obama’s humble roots and through insights of those who know him best details the origins of “his echoes of greatness.”

For all of his critics who touted that the junior Senator from Illinois had little experience, we find out that Obama submitted an unprecedented 800 pieces of legislation in his first two years in office. 180 pieces of those were signed into law.

People saw the potential in the lanky Illinois Senator prior to his historic presidential run. The daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernice recalls her mother, Coretta Scott King calling her after witnessing Obama’s 2004 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. “She told me, don’t look now I think we got one.”

While much of the documentary recounts familiar situations and instances during the campaign season, there are small nuggets that give the viewer pause. Underwood recounted that in the mid-1980s, he was cast as an attorney on Steven Boccho’s “L.A. Law.” In order to help Underwood further define his character, he was supposedly the President of the Harvard Law Review and informed by the show’s creator, Boccho, that there had never been an African-American on television like his character.

Several years later, Underwood was invited to Harvard Law where he met a skinny kid with big ears who introduced himself and said that he was inspired by the show and Underwood’s character and he had become the real first Black President of the Harvard Law Review. Obama shared with Underwood that he was his character!

Featuring homilies from people including Jesse Jackson, Jr., college friend and actor, Hill Harper, Mexican-American comedian George Lopez and many others it is their perspectives that help the public understand the man many described as “too good to be true,” President-elect Obama.

For many Americans who have been and continue to be inspired by his story, “His Journey” hopefully will encourage us to rally behind this charismatic and visionary leader. But the real fruits of Obama’s emergence won’t be known for generations to come. No longer will a parent look their child in the eye and lie when they tell their child they can be whatever they want to when they grow up. Thanks to the creator and his humble servant, Barack Hussein Obama!

Grade: A+

“Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey” comes out on DVD, Tuesday, January 20th.

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