The Obama Bump! Essay

990 words - 4 pages

The Obama Bump!
As the couple met on the stage before a giant crowd, the husband kissed his wife’s cheek and they hugged. The two exchanged a few quick words before the wife raised her right fist to her husband where he bumped it with his left. She then flashed a quick thumbs up and headed offstage, as her husband patted her gently on the lower back as she exited.
This couple was Barack Obama and wife Michelle. This exchange took place before the now President spoke to a Minneapolis crowd on June 3, 2008. This is the night he claimed the Democratic nomination for President. Although there are many nonverbal cues taking place between President Obama and the First Lady; we are going to ...view middle of the document...

It is a friendly thing to do, and a form of positive nonverbal communication. However, when communicating non verbally the door if left open for multiple interpretations. For example, if is commonly thought the “Obama Bump” had far deeper significance than just a show of happiness and victory. Some think it was a carefully thought out and orchestrated statement.
Nonverbal behaviors have been studied extensively due to their link to emotions. Nonverbal communication can be very complex, and can be used to convey both forthright and deceptive emotional messages (Ekman & Friesen, 1969). Nonverbal communication is the process of transporting messages through certain behaviors such as, physical characteristics and objects. It is how and what we use in order to express our feelings to communicate things. Using symbols is a way of using nonverbal communication. Also, nonverbal communication includes the way we use body language and gestures as well. Nonverbal communication is often used unconsciously. However, when one uses certain communication it can be open to misinterpretation.
The fist bump is a greeting of respect that is thought to have been created in the 1970s by Fred Carter, a member the Black Panther Party and an African American player with the NBA's late Baltimore Bullets. DeWayne Wickham wrote of the Obama fist bump in the June 2, 2009 USA Today saying,
“Their fist bump was a dividing line between the politics of old and the new politics that Obama's campaign represented. It was seen by many as an act of affection that humanized the would-be first couple in a way that no words could ever do. It symbolized Obama's ability to transcend race for some, while at the same time manifesting it for others. His very public fist bump that night showed that Obama was confident he had achieved this duality.”
However, if we...

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