All Articles Tagged "barack obama"
It’s no secret that President Barack Obama loves to hoop. So much so that shortly after taking office, he had the White House tennis court adapted so it could be used for both tennis and basketball. But now, with his stay in the White House coming to a close in January, he’s drawing out a game plan of his next big moves. And according to press secretary Josh Earnest, becoming an NBA owner is a possible option, ESPN reports.
Yesterday (June 22), Earnest shared that “potentially… under the right circumstances,” Obama would pursue the opportunity of being a part of an ownership group for an NBA franchise.
The idea also came up in GQ‘s past November issue when Obama gushed that he’d “absolutely” want to join an NBA ownership group. “I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be,” he said. “I think it’d be terrific.”
President-turned-NBA owner, what do you all think?
As his presidency comes to a close, Barack Obama, is going out with a bang. Within his two terms he’s made some major changes in the country and his latest is one of cultural homage. On May 31, Obama declared the month of June 2016 “African-American Music Appreciation Month” in a presidential proclamation.
Although June was first deemed “Black Music Month” by Jimmy Carter and campaigned for by songwriter and producer Kenneth Gamble back in 1979, Obama felt strongly that an official proclamation was more appropriate, especially as our first Black President.
The full text of the proclamation calls African-American music “among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known.” President Obama also calls upon “public officials, educators, and people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.”
Throughout his time in office, Obama has shared his love for lyricists like Kendrick Lamar and Mos Def and have praised singers like Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu. He has even met with a slew of musicians ranging from J. Cole to Chance the Rapper to Nicki Minaj to Pusha T to discuss the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative — a way to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.
“This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art,” he continued. “Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up — to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”
You’ve heard the stories, now watch them unfold.
Miramax finally dropped a full-length trailer for their forthcoming film, Southside With You, which attempts to retell some of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s love story by depicting what their first date may have been like.
As we’ve heard in the past, Michelle was reluctant to give Barack a chance because he was her intern, and somehow, she managed to convince herself their first outing on a summer day in 1989 was NOT a date. However, the future POTUS’ charm was too much to resist, and eventually, he won her over.
We can’t say that she didn’t put up a good fight, though. First, by busting his chops about being late to pick her up in addition to showing up late on his first day of work, and then, by telling him that she couldn’t date him out of concern for what her colleagues would think.
“This is not a date. How is it going to look if I start dating the first cute Black guy that walks through the firm’s doors?” asks Michelle, who is played by Tika Sumpter. “It would be tacky.”
Of course, all Barack heard was that Michelle thought he was cute. And well, the rest is history.
Southside With You hits theaters in August. Check out the adorable trailer below. We’re pretty sure it’s going to give you all the feels.
This month may have the honor of being the blackest Black History Month in the history of the holiday. When Carter G. Woodson first established the precursor for this holiday back in 1926 with Negro History Week, we doubt his wildest dreams could have anticipated what it would look like all these years later.
From Beyoncé to Kendrick Lamar, these celebrities have taken a stand for civil rights, Black history and showed everyone what it means to be Black, proud and powerful. And Black History Month isn’t yet over, so we still have plenty to celebrate.
The following stars risked losing fans and upsetting the censors to bring us these moments during this very special time of year, and we’re glad they did.
Did we miss any of your favorite moments from Black History Month 2016? Let us know how you’ve been celebrating our favorite time of year.
Taye Diggs is likely somewhere patting himself on the back. A recent study, highlighted in TIME, said that interracial women are more likely to identify as multiracial than interracial men. Maybe I’m slow, but it took me forever to understand what this story and the study were trying to say. Basically, with the American multiracial population growing as it is, social scientists estimate that by 2050, one in every five Americans will be mixed race.
So the question becomes how will this growing demographic choose to identify themselves?
Well, according to the study, gender may have something to do with the choice. Lauren Davenport, professor of political science at Stanford, sifted through data from tens of thousands of incoming college freshman with muti-racial backgrounds across the country.
She found that women who were multiracial were more likely to identify themselves as such. While men who were multiracial were more likely to choose one race.
For children born of Black-White unions, 76 percent of the women defined themselves as multi-racial while only 64 percent of men with the same background did. The same was true for students who came from Latino-White and Asian-White unions. Interestingly enough, the TIME piece didn’t mention multiracial individuals with two parents of color.
Davenport speculates that the reason women may be more likely to mark multiracial is because, in society, women with various racial and ethnic backgrounds are viewed more favorably.
She’s certainly not lying. We’ve all seen. From the music videos, to Hollywood casting choices (see Zoe Saldana or Aurora Perrineau,) to internet memes, to men on the street, there seems to be this subtle or blatantly expressed preference for racially ambiguous or multiracial women. And not just women, biracial children as well. There have been entire videos made discouraging what has become the fetishization of biracial children, believing that they’ll one day become biracial adults, particularly women, who will be viewed as more visually appealing and sexually attractive. People will express this preference telling you that your biracial children will have “good hair,” that they’ll be “pretty babies.” They’re sure of it. It’s a notion rooted in racism really. That it takes a White person to make what would have been an “ordinary Black” child attractive. And we all know how attractiveness translates to other perks, benefits and even opportunities in this country, from the time of slavery until today.
So perhaps these women are responding to that culture, wanting to be a part of that celebrated caste.
Or maybe not.
Maybe some of these women are starting to reject the one-drop-rule. Which is also steeped in racism. The one-drop-rule was a way to keep people with just an ounce of Black ancestry from claiming the advantages and freedoms of being White in America. And while the Black community has transformed the one drop rule to accept the diversity of Blackness, there may be some people who would like to acknowledge all that they are. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I see where Taye Diggs is coming from when he says his child should be able to acknowledge and celebrate both sides of his heritage. But I also believe a person should be able to identify as they please. I know right now you might be thinking about Rachel Dolezal. She too has that choice. And we in society have the choice to accept it or not. In the case of Dolezal, she doesn’t have my acceptance. And this societal acceptance or rejection is the exact reason why some people choose to identify as one race or another. A person who is biracial with a darker skin tone could say that they’re White all day. But if that person were to expect to be seen and treated as a White person, they might be severely disappointed.
It’s like President Barack Obama choosing to identify and be called Black, though he was raised exclusively by his White mother and her parents. It is his choice, likely influenced by the ways in which society sees him. A cursory look over his life will show you that despite his peers seeing his White family, he experienced racism. And it’s a choice I feel we should honor. Which is where Taye Diggs and I differ.
Biologically speaking, race is a social construct. All we have is melanin, in varying amounts. It’s people, in our need to classify, who determine which ones of us fall into which racial category based on that melanin. Since the idea is entirely made up anyway, there are no rules that say these definitions can’t shift.
It’s been quite some time since we heard that Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers would take on the roles of Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson, before they were recognized as the powerful First Couple that we know and love today.
Finally, a first look of Southside With You has been released and it looks too good to miss! Written and directed by Richard Tanne, the film chronicles the early courtship of the dynamic duo before Sasha and Malia were a thought and American would welcome its first African American First Family.
In the teaser clip we see a young Barack working as a summer associate at a law firm on the South Side of Chicago muster up the confidence to ask then young attorney Michelle out on a date.
“I was only ever looking to tell the story of the first date. And I think that, in order to just capture that moment in time, it was important to take into account everything in their lives only up until that point. Because to consider the events that came after would almost be somehow winking or nodding at what was to come. And I just wanted to make this about that one moment in time,” Tanne told Yahoo Movies.
Southside with You premieres at Sundance Film Festival Sunday, Jan. 24.
With his last term in the White House coming to a close, President Obama is doing all that he can to dedicate his time to pushing gun control and educating Americans on why taking action on such matters are important, since Congress has not passed legislation doing so.
In an effort to continue this task of executive action, Obama has decided to leave a seat empty in the first lady’s box to honor slain victims due to gun violence during the State of the Union address on Tuesday (Jan.12), The Huffington Post reported. Historically, the process of deciding who will sit next to the first lady takes a significant amount of time, but instead of a high-profile figure, Obama felt it was only right to use that opportunity to reflect on larger issues the country is facing at large.
“We want them to be seen and understood that their absence means something to this country,” Obama said.
A White House official explained, “because they need the rest of us to speak for them. To tell their stories. To honor their memory. To support the Americans whose lives have been forever changed by the terrible ripple effect of gun violence—survivors who’ve had to learn to live with a disability, or without the love of their life. To remind every single one of our representatives that it’s their responsibility to do something about this.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 5, 2016
I don’t have to tell y’all that gun control in this country is a problem. From the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, to the one in a Black church in South Carolina and then the nearly everyday occurrences in Chicago, there is a problem and we have to address it.
Today, during a press conference on gun control, President Obama is seeking to do just that.
President Obama has been calling Congress to act on gun control for months now, with no results. So after meeting with his team to see what could be done, today he proposed an executive order that seeks to do several things.
1. Keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, through background checks.
2. Make the communities safer from gun violence, through stricter enforcement of gun laws, tracking the illegal sale of firearms, renewing domestic violence outreach efforts.
3. Increasing mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.
4. Shape the future of gun safety technology
You can get a more in depth look at the proposal here.
In proposing this new legislation, President Obama shed tears speaking about the children slain in Newtown, Connecticut.
“All of us should be able to work together, to find a balance that declares the rest of our rights are also important. Second amendment rights are important. But there are other rights that we care about as well. Because our right to worship freely and safely, that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina. And that was denied Jews in Kansas City. And that was denied Muslims in Chapel and Sikhs in Oak Creek.
Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara and from high schoolers at Columbine. And from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
Wiping tears away, he said, “Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad. And by the way it happens on the streets of Chicago everyday.”
You can watch President Obama’s full remarks in the video below. (The press conference starts around the 35:15 mark.)
Chile, people love to say that Michelle Obama was down for Barack when he had nothing. They reference the worn soles of his shoes and the hole in the bottom of his car and take that to mean that he came to her as a pauper and she was patient and understanding and waited for him to climb the ranks to President of these United States.
The message is that if it worked for our beloved President and First Lady, then “regular” women should be willing to work with a man with potential because it’ll pay off in the end.
In celebration of the first couple’s wedding anniversary, earlier this week, one man created this meme.
Ladies: He might not have it all right now, but be faithful, stick by his side and one day he'll give you the world pic.twitter.com/tawDJOD7vX
— The Jo Johnson™ (@itsTheJoJohnson) October 3, 2015
And while I’m sure this “betting on potential” has worked for some people, somewhere, somehow, potential doesn’t often amount to a whole lot. We all have potential to be or do something. The difference is, do you have ambition to match? Are you moving, shaking, hustling and grinding to do something with your gifts?
For a lot of people, men and women alike, the answer is, sadly, no.
But that wasn’t the case when our First Lady met President Obama.
When she met him, she had already given herself the world. She worked hard to earn a spot at Princeton and then graduated to work at a law firm, where she was his boss. He was her intern. Perhaps because she was his superior, people seem to think Barack came to her busted and disgusted and she took a gamble on a man who seemed like he “might could” be something one day.
When she met him he’d graduated from Columbia. And was in law school at Harvard. Then, a year later, he served as the President of the Harvard Law Review, the first Black person- male of female- to do so. When you consider this, it’s not that much of a stretch to consider he could duplicate the feat with the Presidency of the United States. But even more importantly, there was the work he was doing for the community. I don’t want to gloss over that. It’s important. This wasn’t a man who was just after titles and prestige, he was willing to give back.
That’s much more than potential baby, that’s a man who’s put in the work.
And thankfully, several people on social media were ready and willing to let this brotha know that it was deeper than standing by your man when he has nothing, hoping that one day he’ll have everything and be gracious enough to share it with you.
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) October 6, 2015
@itsTheJoJohnson Your wording took all of her hard work and success on her own away from her, & implied that her husband GAVE her all that.
— That Girl (@Guarded_Dreams) October 6, 2015
Then activist Shaun King took it to Facebook to make it plain.
The creator of the original meme explained that this wasn’t his intention and peace was restored in the kingdom that is Black Twitter.
I don’t know what the original tweeter had in mind. But I do know that there are tons of people in this world, particularly in the Black community, who think that Michelle had to sacrifice, struggle and wait for President Obama to get himself together. Nah. Hopefully now, people will have a better, more realistic understanding of the first couple’s story: they each had plenty to bring to the table. The rest, as they say, is history.
While briefly perusing social media this past weekend, I ran across a meme with a side-by-side image of President Obama and Michelle at the China State Dinner at the White House on Friday. Next to them, there was a picture of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife, Candy. The caption for the meme? A parody of the hilarious “Don’t be like ___ me” DirecTV commercials:
“Hi, I’m President Barack Obama, and I have DirecTV.”
And in contrast:
“Hi, I’m presidential candidate Ben Carson, and I have cable.”
To me, I thought the images were put together to show off how awesome (and fly) our president and the First Lady are in comparison to the controversial and swag-deprived Carson and his wife. But as I would find out this morning, the meme was created to poke fun at the looks of Carson’s wife. While Michelle looked radiant in one photo with her sickening side-swept hair and curve-hugging gown, Candy looked very tame, like she on the way to parent-teacher conferences. She waved to supporters in a photo from Ben’s presidential run announcement rally, hair pulled back, rocking a fluted polka-dot skirt with a large red belt, glasses, and a blazer. Despite the latter image being old (it’s from May), people on social media still had a field day over it this past weekend, cracking jokes about Candy’s style and overall appearance. Despite her husband’s decision to be in the spotlight and make controversial comments that have garnered the accomplished doctor many detractors, it was Candy who was receiving all the criticism this time around. Not cool, guys. Not cool.
In a piece for The Root, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley defended Candy from her critics, stating that Ben chose to be in the spotlight, not her. Therefore, the attacks on her appearance are uncalled for. However, Lucas D’Oyley also criticized Candy’s fashion sense in the same breath. She even stated that Candy’s Seventh-Day Adventist faith isn’t a good excuse for her style missteps. According to the author, “religion and modesty are not synonymous with ill-fitting and unflattering and out-of-date” clothing.
Are there sexist and, in this case, racist underpinnings that make appearance matter more in certain circumstances? Absolutely. But until those “isms” are dismantled, women absolutely need to look as if they at least tried, especially when they’re up for a role they really want.
I won’t drag Candy Carson. I’m sure she is a lovely woman, and she has endured her husband’s politics for 40-plus years. But I will say that I can’t help noticing that as a presidential candidate, Ben Carson always shows up looking like the position he wants to have. I want the Mrs. to look the same.
And I can somewhat get where Lucas D’Oyley is coming from. Appearance matters in most realms of life. When you interview for a job, you can’t walk into an office looking like a Love and Hip Hop hopeful. And when you’re going to be in front of the camera every day, you don’t want to have a look that distracts people. But when these type of issues arise in the news (or via social media), I’m often left thinking to myself, My goodness…we focus on the wrong things.
We’re focused more on Candy’s looks than we are her husband’s politics. Just like we were way too focused on Gabby Douglas’s hair when she was flipping for gold at the 2012 Olympics in London. Just like people continue to focus too much on Serena Williams’s muscles, and when they’re not, they’re wondering when she’s going to move on to another hairstyle. And just like the time social media put Pam Oliver’s looks on front street. Leaving some to wonder if the controversy over her wigs was one of the reasons she was demoted from her position at Fox Sports and replaced with Erin Andrews. Despite the more important reasons why we were seeing these women on our TV screens, and their great accomplishments that we could have been celebrating, we were talking about surface beauty standards and what we “want,” as Lucas D’Oyley said, these ladies to look like.
I get it. We’ve all looked at someone’s ensemble or hair choice when they’re on the main stage and thought, yikes! But there’s a difference between thinking something and deciding to make a mockery of someone on social media. This is especially troubling considering that the same criticisms are never lobbed at the husbands of famous women. They’re not expected to look like more than any other guy in a simple suit. And yet, Candy, who is well into her 60s and hasn’t been in the spotlight very often, is expected to step out looking like a million bucks. What exactly was she supposed to put on in this stage of her life that would have pleased folks? Was it the ponytail that turned you off? The skirt? The glasses? Does her ensemble make you trust Ben any less?
Yeah. Get over yourself.
And, honestly, as amazing as Michelle Obama looks in this meme, that’s not how she appeared when President Obama announced his initial run for president. I’m from Chicago’s Southland, and I remember old-school Michelle. The days when President Obama was just running for Senate, and Michelle didn’t look nearly as polished as she does now. But with time, the right stylists, and some fabulous hair and makeup artists at her beck and call in the White House, Michelle has become a fashion icon. But like Candy, she didn’t start that way. It took a while for her to ditch the flip curl, sharp eyebrows, and bell-sleeve ensembles. But once she did, va-va voom!
Look, I’m not trying to say that people don’t need to look like they love themselves when they step out of the house, but I think we’re way too hard on way too many women, Black women especially, when it comes to how they choose to present themselves to the world, as the women they really are (not as if they’re stepping out on the red carpet). And considering that in the meme, Ben is holding Candy’s hand, looking happier than a kid in a candy store next to his wife of 40 years, does anything else really matter?