/  05.30.2022

Barack Obama and the young man who stole the internet with his 2009 image touching the former president’s hair have reunited, and the world looks a lot different since that viral Oval Office encounter.

During a visit to the White House alongside his father and former National Security Council staffer, Carlton Philadelphia, Jacob Philadelphia had one question for then-President Obama.

“Is your hair like mine?” he asked.

In true Obama fashion, the 44th President bowed down allowing the young man to take a peek for himself while former White House photographer Pete Souza captured the moment.

“Go ahead, touch it,” said Obama as he leaned over allowing Jacob to not only see his hair, but get a feel of it for himself.

People across the world celebrated the now-viral image that was titled Hair Like Mine. Now, Jacob is celebrating his high school graduation and even received a surprise call from a familiar face.

 

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During a video call, the International School of Uganda graduate and Obama reflected on the moment that served as a catalyst of hope for more representation in positions of power that serve the nation.

“I think this picture embodied one of the hopes I had when I first started running for office,” Obama said. “Folks who maybe always didn’t feel like they belonged, they’d look at themselves differently.”

For Souza, capturing the moment happened so fast, but, it is one that will forever be cemented in Jacob’s memory.

“That was a pretty big highlight of my life,” Jacob told PEOPLE. “It is very 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.”

 

 

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