All Articles Tagged "barack obama"

“It Matters.” Michelle Obama Talks Importance Of Black Children Seeing First Family In The White House

September 8th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Michelle Obama Talks Importance Of Black Children Seeing First Family In The White House

Source: Essence

Every image of the Obamas these days is bittersweet. We know we’re looking at some of the last moments of this historic presidency. I had one of those moments when Essence unveiled their October cover featuring the first couple. In the excerpts from the article, the magazine claimed to want to send these two off with a hug and a salute. And inside, the Obamas spoke about life in the White House, what they’ll do afterward and the legacy they hope to leave behind.

President Obama, big-upping himself a bit, said, “…I can unequivocally say that America is better off now than we were when we came into office. By almost every economic measure, we’re better off. But having said that, we still have a lot of work to do.”

Inside the book, there’s this incredibly sweet picture of the first couple looking, lovingly, at each other.

Michelle Obama Talks Importance Of Black Children Seeing First Family In The White House

Source: Essence

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Michelle is filling out this dress in all the right places. One of my Instagram friends noted last night that we might not have noticed this particular curve because they’ve styled her in A-line dresses for so long. But I’m happy to see those “Let’s Move” squats have been paying off.

And Mrs. Obama spoke about the legacy of visibility she hopes to leave for Black children.

“I think when it comes to Black kids, it means something for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them,” Mrs. Obama said. “It matters. All the future work that Barack talked about, I think over these last few years, we’ve kind of knocked the ceiling of limitation off the roofs of many young kids; imaginations of what’s possible for them. And as a mother, I wouldn’t underestimate how important that is, having that vision that you can really do anything—not because somebody told you, but because you’ve seen and experienced it. I think that will be a lasting impact on our kids.”


Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

5 Things We Can Learn From Michelle And Barack’s First Date

August 31st, 2016 - By Patia Braithwaite
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Most of us are aware of the new romantic dramedy, Southside with You. It stars Tika Sumpter as a young Michelle Robinson and Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama. The film, written and directed by Richard Tanne, chronicles the couple’s first date. It’s an adorable movie that led me to think about five things we might be able to take away for ourselves when it comes to first dates, all from watching the very beginning of this iconic couple’s relationship.

1. Attraction can be subtle. 

In the beginning of the movie, we watch a fictional Michelle get ready for her day with Barack. She lotions and powders and picks at her hair, all while claiming she isn’t interested in the man she’s about to meet up with. It so subtle, but these small gestures might indicate that there’s a bit more attraction there than we’d like to admit to ourselves. Pay attention.

2. First dates can be awkward.

What I loved about Southside with You was the way the couple spoke about things that were both deeply personal as well as cultural/societal. This felt so reminiscent of my own first dates. But those conversations also included the awkward moments, disagreements, and even silence that comes with learning about one another. That’s okay. If you let awkwardness be an acceptable feeling, it frees you up to discover other more interesting feelings (like chemistry). A little bit of awkwardness is a good sign.

3. First dates are great; sober dates are amazing.

It’s easy to meet up for drinks, have too many, and find the hours go by quickly. With every beverage, your lips might get looser, and your laugh might get a bit louder. Though drinking dates are super fun and can result in lifelong relationships, it’s far more telling when you lose track of time on a date while you’re completely sober. I’m not a mathematician, but I think a two-hour sober date is the equivalent of a four-hour date during happy hour, and you can remember everything that happened the next morning.

4. It’s okay to be unconvinced.

One of my favorite things about Southside with You is that fictional Michelle was pretty unimpressed with the future president throughout the movie. She even called him out when he seemed to be posturing and jockeying for her affections. So often, we’re told to bite our tongues, laugh when the joke isn’t funny, and tuck less agreeable parts of ourselves away to snag a man. I believe the right man reveals himself in time. You don’t have to be convinced of anything after the first date except for whether or not you’re looking for a second date, and you’re allowed to be honest about your reservations.

5. Shirk the rules if it feels right.

We have rules about kissing. We have rules about texting first, staying too long, and being too vulnerable. Those rules keep us safe, but sometimes they limit how open we might be to something real. If it feels right, lean in for the kiss. If you think it’s worth it, send the first text, or share the vulnerable story. In the case of Michelle and Barack, you never know where it could lead…

Patia Braithwaite is a freelance writer based in New York City. To hear more about her first dates: She Tweets and ‘Grams occasionally @pdotbrathw8

Movie Review: The Barack And Michelle Movie, ‘Southside With You’

August 26th, 2016 - By Danielle Elaine
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“Southside With You” is a delicate and endearing tale of America’s greatest love story. That was my initial thought as I watched the short film of future President Barack Obama and Michelle’s (then Robinson) first date unfold before me. After a few days of sitting with the movie, replaying scenes in my mind, and talking it over with friends, my original feelings of nostalgia, and endearment started to wain.


Tika Sumpter as Michelle Obama and Parker Sawyer as President Barack Obama uncannily recount a love story that would later become historical. The film was a great illustration of the dynamic of their relationship, and how pivotal Michelle’s role in young Barack’s life would be. Through the film, viewers will gain a deeper understanding for the people we have come to know as POTUS and FLOTUS. This amazing depiction of the blossoming of the Obamas’ friendship and love is the essence of Black love.

Michelle’s tenacity and wisdom were life-changing catalysts for Obama. She gave him a new outlook on life, and most importantly, inspired him to resolve his issues with his father. In resolving his resentment, Barack was able to turn a more compassionate eye to others, as well as elicit a deeper understanding for himself. Barack’s romantic–and unyielding–pursuit of Michelle was charming to watch unfold.

Sawyer authentically portrayed what can now be described as destiny, however, Tika may have slightly overacted. During several scenes Tika seemed to give Michelle that “angry Black woman against the world” feel. While Barack was relentless in his attempt to woo Michelle, she wanted to make it clear they were, and would be, nothing more than colleagues.

The length of the movie, a mere 82 minutes, and I was disappointed only because I wanted more.

As we have come to know, Barack eventually won Michelle’s affections. In addition to insight on the presidential couple’s personal background, viewers will also get a chance to see behind the curtain of third person view, as to what ignited the Obamas’ political tastes. Overall, the film is a great look into the makings of history’s most notable couples of our time.

After His Presidency, Could Obama Become An NBA Team Owner?

June 23rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Photo Credit: WENN

Photo Credit: WENN

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?

President Obama Officially Declares June 2016 African-American Music Appreciation Month

June 4th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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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.”

Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

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.”

Watch Barack And Michelle’s Love Story Unfold In This “Southside With You” Trailer

April 29th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Watch Barack And Michelle's Love Story Unfold In This "Southside With You" Trailer


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.

Say It Loud! Stars Celebrating Blackness

February 22nd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

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.

Are Biracial Women More Likely To Identify As Multi-Racial To Receive Preferential Treatment?

January 29th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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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.

Here’s A First Look At Tika Sumpter & Parker Sawyers As Michelle & Barack In ‘Southside With You’

January 24th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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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.

Obama To Honor Gun Violence Victims With Empty Seat At SOTU

January 10th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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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.”