Former President Of The United States, Barack Obama reunited online with the boy who touched his hair in an iconic picture from 2009. They talked and celebrated the teenager’s graduation from Highschool on Friday.
Jacob Philadelphia was only 5 years old when he visited the Oval Office with his family and asked the former U.S leader if their hair was similar. Barack Obama replied “Touch it dude” and bowed his head, allowing Jacob to touch his hair by himself. White House photographer Pete Souza captured that exact moment.
“This picture embodied one of the hopes that I’d had when I first started running for office,” Obama said in a video he posted on Twitter on Friday that included parts of his conversation with John. “Young people, particularly African American people, people of color, outsiders, folks who maybe didn’t always feel like they belonged, they’d look at themselves differently to see a person who looked like them in the Oval Office.”
During their meeting online, Obama made small talk with John and joked with him about his facial hair. John recalled Obama’s head and shoulders being above him as he bent down during the visit.
The teenager said, “It was a pretty big highlight of my life.” The encounter remained in his memory.
John Philadelphia graduated from the International School of Uganda on Friday, a school very close to where his Dad works for the U.S Embassy in Kampala. He plans to return to the United States to attend the University of Memphis and major in political science.
Barack Obama attributed the choice of study to his visit saying, “I think the White House visit clearly inspired you.”