Former US President Barack Obama recently shared his virtual reunion with Jacob Philadelphia, the boy who famously touched his head in the 2009 photo "Hair Like Mine".
Jacob Philadelphia was just five years old when he visited the Oval Office with his parents and elder brother. He had asked Mr Obama if his hair was like his, following which the then President of the United States leaned down and let him touch his hair to find out. The moment was captured on camera and later dubbed “Hair Like Mine”.
Now, after almost 13 years, Mr Obama again met Jacob and shared a video of their interaction. The former president congratulated the teen on his high school graduation and reflected on his interaction with the young boy back in 2009.
Jacob Philadelphia was five years old when he visited the Oval Office and asked if his hair was like mine. That photo became one of our favorites – a reminder of the power of seeing yourself in your leaders.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 27, 2022
Today, he's graduating from high school! Check out our recent reunion. pic.twitter.com/gB39hFS3Wp
Since shared, the video has garnered more than 1.4 million views and thousands of comments and likes. “Dear President Obama. This video actually brought tears to my eyes it reminded me that if we work hard enough and believe hard enough we can reach that star in the sky. Your legacy will live on forever and I am proud to say that you are my President,” wrote one user.
“I love this. I remember this photo well. So amazing to see and hear from young Jacob, who is now graduating from high school. I appreciated and still appreciate everything you did and continue to do for our country & our kids. These videos are great,” added another.
The clip opens with Mr Obama calling Jacob and asking him if he remembered him. “I remember you telling me that your hair was going to be grey next time,” Jacob said in response, to which Mr Obama laughed heartily and replied, “And I was not lying!”
Throughout the five minutes clip, Jacob said that meeting President Obama in the Oval Office was a “pretty big highlight of my life”. He informed the former president of his plans to study political science at the University of Memphis, which Mr Obama claimed was inspired by his White House visit.
“I think this picture embodied one of the hopes that I'd had when I first started running for office,” Mr Obama said in the video.
“I remember telling Michelle and some of my staff, you know, I think that if I were to win, the day I was sworn into office, young people, particularly African American people, people of colour, 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. It would speak to Black kids and Latino kids and gay kids and young girls -- how they could see the world open up for them,” he added.
Jacob also spoke about how the iconic moment impacted him. He said that it was wonderful to see representation in the government “because if I get to see another Black man be at the top, be at that pinnacle, then I want to follow that lead”.