Hilton Head Island Boys & Girls Club members swarm television and stage actor Jasmine Guy, center, as she visits the club Friday afternoon. Guy, best known for her role as Whitley in television's "A Different World," was in the area to promote "Women for Obama," an effort on the part of the Barack Obama presidential campaign to engage and enlist women to spread the word about the Illinois senator.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND -- Actress Jasmine Guy stood at a podium in front of more than 200 Barack Obama supporters at Hilton Head Country Club on Friday and, within a few moments of starting her speech, scrapped her notes.
"My dad worried I'd say something wrong." she said. "He drilled me on what I was going to say. (But) you can't be wrong if you speak from the heart."
Guy, best known for her role as Whitley on "A Different World," visited the club, and later the Hilton Head Island Boys and Girls Club and the Elliott House in Beaufort to kickoff a Women for Obama group in the Lowcountry.
For the actress and writer, giving a stump speech for the presidential hopeful was a personal effort rather than working from a script.
"I believe in this man," Guy told her audience. "There's something different happening in our country that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. We're actually celebrating a man for being the man he is without an 'in spite of."'
That observation wasn't limited to Guy.
"I believe we're a group that have seen a lot of impossible situations change," said Emma Campbell , of Hilton Head Island. "We're of the '60's. We know we can challenge the conventional wisdom. To convince people, we just have to keep saying it over and over."
"I think he's refreshing," agreed Cecile Dickey, of Bluffton. "We've had enough of the same ol,' same ol.' I think that he can unite people, and God knows this country needs some uniting. Sometimes it's time to talk to our enemies and not just jump into aggression."
For Guy, the message was one of confidence that Obama would be the best candidate to relate to people's daily struggles. She assailed economic difficulties that pressure parents to work long hours at the same time they're asked to spend more time cultivating family values. She also pushed a message of international peace.
"You don't go to war without a plan," Guy said. "Arrogance keeps you from understanding other people's culture and respecting other people's culture. … I believe Obama will be accountable."