All Articles Tagged "President Obama"

The National Museum Of African American History And Culture Is Now Open

September 25th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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National Museum Of African American History And Culture

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This Saturday (Sept. 24), history was made with the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History and Culture. Established in 2003, the idea of a federally owned museum featuring African American history and culture can be traced back nearly 100 years.

Located at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to commemorate its opening, a host of prominent individuals  were in attendance like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, and many more. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were also there, ringing a bell alongside a 99-year-old woman who is a descendant of slaves, to open the museum.

“This national museum helps to  tell a richer and fuller story of who we are,” Obama said in a speech. “Hopefully, this museum can help us to talk to each other. And more importantly, listen to each other. And most importantly, see each other. Black and white and Latino and Native American and Asian American — see how our stories are bound together.

With 36,000 items that trace the treacherous journey of African Americans from the slave trade of the 1800s to the racial tensions of the civil-rights movement in the 20th century. Former President George W. Bush, who signed the law authorizing the museum in 2003, said the museum tells the unvarnished truth of how a country built on the promise of liberty once held millions in chains. “It faces its flaws and corrects them,” he expounds.

Rep. John Lewis also gave a moving speech during the ceremony. “It is important that The National Museum of African American History and Culture tells the unvarnished truth of America’s history — a story that speaks to the soul of our nation, but one few Americans know,” he said. “It’s a reminder that 400 years of history can’t be buried; its lessons must be learned. By bringing the uncomfortable parts of our past out of the shadows, we can better understand what divides us and seek to heal those problems through our unity.”

Barry, A New Biopic About President Obama, Showcases Newcomer Devon Terrell’s Talent

September 20th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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 Biopic About President Obama

Netflix

Netflix is continuing its winning streak by purchasing the acclaimed independent film, Barry, a biopic based on President Barack Obama’s college years, while the nation prepares for the sad end of his presidency.

According to Deadline, the streaming service reportedly bid for the film within the $4.5 million range, reporting the “Vikram Gandhi-directed film drew high praise at the Toronto Film Festival for actor Devon Terrell in his role as a young Barack Obama. This was a hot property and I’d heard several distributors chased it and Netflix went out in front with an initial bid,”

Barry takes place in 1981, the year President Obama transfered from Occidental College to Columbia University. Facing culture shock, President Obama is seen navigating questions about race, culture, and identity as he settles in a new school. Initially premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Barry received a perfect score of 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and will definitely set newcomer Devon Terrell on all of our radars.

Check out highlights from his GQ interview, below.

GQ: So how does an unknown actor from Australia get cast as Barack Obama?

Devon Terrell: [laughs] I was originally doing a series on HBO with Steve McQueen [Codes of Conduct], which eventually got cut off after the pilot. And the day that happened, my agent called me and said, “Look, there’s interest from this film called Barry,” and I was like, “Oh, what’s it about?” and he said, “It’s about Barack Obama.” My heart kind of stopped a little bit, because it had been a dream of mine. When I was 19, my cousin asked me, “What’s your dream role?” and I said, “Barack Obama.” But I was thinking to myself, like, “No way. I’m 19. I’m too young.” But as soon as I started reading the script, I completely forgot it was about Barack Obama, got lost in the story, shed many tears at the ending, and just fell in love with it. And I Skyped Vikram and was like, “I need to do this. I need to.” And I auditioned straightaway and got the part. And it all began.

GQ: Let’s break down your performance, because there’s a lot involved in playing early-’80s Obama. What was your read on him physically? He’s a left-hander. He’s got agility on the basketball court. He’s developing a bit of a strut. How did all those physical attributes come together?

Devon Terrell: It was a lot of watching him when he was younger and listening to how he spoke about himself. I’m quite a physical guy. I love to be active in things. But I’m right-handed, so for two months straight I was just learning everything as left-handed—learning how to write, how to play basketball, everything. I’m such a perfectionist that it wasn’t about being good at it—I had to be so good at it. But it was also about finding the awkwardness. The man we see now has a swagger about him, walks around with his chest up high. Looking at him when he was 30, though, he was a different man. And so thinking about him at 21, when he’s trying to find himself, he’s not as assured.

GQ: So as an Australian, how has the Obama phenomenon looked from the outside?

Devon Terrell: Oh, it’s incredible. We’re obsessed with him. Like, every person I know is in love with Barack Obama. I think when he was elected, every single person in Australia was rooting for him, and everyone loves him. If he came to Australia, I think we’d go nuts. I think it’s because he’s a man of the world. As for me, I was born in the States and grew up in Australia, and I’m mixed-race. I’ve had that same experience of, like, where do I sit? He speaks to so many people like me all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you are or where you were born, you have a reason to be here and you belong somewhere.

Check out the full interview here.

Philippines President Calls President Obama A “Son Of A B*tch,” Obama Cancels Their Meeting

September 8th, 2016 - By madamenoire
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President Obama

From HelloBeautiful

President Barack Obama canceled a meeting with the president of the Philippines after Rodrigo Duterte recently called him a “son of a b*tch.”

Yes, he tried it.

Duterte’s outrageous comments came after the White House announced Obama would be asking Duterte about the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers in the Philippines, USA Today wrote. Apparently, more than 2,000 suspected drug users and dealers have died in the Asian country since Duterte took office a mere two months ago.

Read more about this insulting incident at HelloBeautiful.com

“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.”

Amen.

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

Diddy: Obama Shortchanged Black America

September 5th, 2016 - By madamenoire
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Diddy

WENN

From HelloBeautiful

Diddy has never been one to hold his tongue on hot-button issues. Though politics typically hasn’t been his lane, the music mogul-turned-charter-school founder kept it 100 with his assessment of Obama’s eight years in office.

“My number one thing, though, to be honest, is Black people,” the Bad Boy founder told Al Sharpton during a segment on MSNBC’s Politics Nation. “I feel like we put President Obama in the White House. When I look back, I just wanted more done for my people because that’s the name of the game. This is politics. You put somebody in office you get in return the things that you care about for your communities.

“I think we got a little bit shortchanged. That’s not knocking the president. There’s a lot going on, he’s done an excellent job, you know, but I think it’s time to turn up the heat because the Black vote is going to decide who is the next president of the United States.”

Read more of Diddy’s commentary at HelloBeautiful.com

The First Family Teams Up With SXSW For ‘South By South Lawn’ Festival

September 3rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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WENN

WENN

Back in March, President Barack and Michelle Obama visited the vastly growing SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, speaking on topics that ranged from education to civic engagement to creative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Apparently, the festival inspired the dynamic duo so much that the Obama administration has teamed up with SXSW to create ” ‘South By South Lawn,” a smaller-scale edition of the festival. Location? The White House, of course. A one-day event scheduled for Oct. 3, there will be a panel of discussions, short student films and live performances, running in the same vein of the festival’s Interactive, Film and Music components, NPR reports.

Photo Credit: The White House

Photo Credit: The White House

In a statement from the White House, SXSL will “bring together creators, innovators, and organizers who work day in and day out to improve the lives of their fellow Americans and people around the world.”

As far as entry goes, there’s a nomination ballot where individuals can nominate themselves or someone they know that’s creating change—big or small—in their community.

Get all the details here.

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of Hamilton

August 5th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Image: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com

Image: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com

With 11 Tony Awards, including one for best musical, a Pulitzer and tickets selling for upwards of $12,000, Hamilton is by far the most popular musical we’ve seen in decades. Groundbreaking and Hip-Hop infused, Hamilton has taken Broadway and the country at large by storm. The cast album alone peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 charts following the Tony Awards, and was No. 1 on the rap album chart, the first cast album to ever claim such a distinction. Even President Obama lays claim to the musical, which Hamilton writer and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda first performed at the White House in 2009. Here are some secrets behind the making of Hamilton.

Angela Rye Tells Another Political Commentator “Boy Bye” For Questioning Pres. Obama’s Harvard Admission

August 3rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: CNN

Source: CNN

Earlier this week President Obama came out with some very strong criticisms against Donald Trump. In case you missed it, he said, among other things, that he was unfit to become president. In fact he said Trump keeps proving his inadequacy.

He explained his stance even further.

“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge of critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.”

Many are calling these remarks the strongest President Obama had made against the Republican presidential candidate.

So naturally, all of the talking heads had a few things to say about this. Political commentator and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, in speaking with Don Lemon and other panelists, argued that the president shouldn’t have spoken out about Trump, that he should save those types of comments for the campaign trail.

Angela disagreed.

“Let me be very clear. Donald Trump has been attacking the president long before he began campaigning for this important office. He is the one who was the spokesperson for the birther movement and was calling for transcripts and saying that the president was an Affirmative Action admittee of Harvard…”

Lewandowski interrupts Rye to ask, “Did he ever release his transcripts?”

Rye was ready with a response. “Tell me about those tax returns Corey while you’re at it.”

“You raised the issue. Did he ever release his transcripts or his admission to Harvard University.”

“Corey, in this moment I’m going to Beyoncé you: Boy bye. You are so out of line right now.”

The woman is sharp and she ain’t sorry.

Check out the full exchange in the video below.

“I Hope They Hold Her Accountable” Samaria Rice Explains Why She Didn’t Stand With Mothers Of The Movement At DNC

July 28th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Samaria Rice, mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice is not one to mince her words. She speaks very bluntly and honestly about her thoughts and opinions. And since the untimely and unjust death of her son she’s been thrust into the spotlight where she’s been asked to share her opinions on LeBron James, President Obama and now the current presidential candidates.

Earlier this week, we watched the Mothers of the Movement speak about their children, their fight for justice and their support for Hillary Clinton. But noticeably absent was Samaria. She recently told Fusion, that she declined to endorse Hillary Clinton. (Clinton’s campaign claimed they never asked.) She said she despises the fact that mothers of slain children, at the hands of police, have to even make this type of decision.

Samaria said no candidate is “speaking my language about police reform.”

She say she wants “a lot on the table, not a little bit of talk, a lot of talk about police brutality, police accountability, making new policies, taking some away, and just reforming the whole system. I think that would make me feel better, and no candidate has did that for me yet.”

Other mothers of the movement don’t share Samaria’s opinion. Still, Samaria says she has a good relationship with those women but believes Clinton is for big money and not people like her. She did tell Fusion that she is hopeful that these women have Clinton’s ear.

“I hope they going to hold her accountable for whatever discussions they had behind closed doors.”

Samaria said she may or may not vote in November.

What she is looking for in an ideal candidate is someone who actually proposes bills that hold police departments accountable for serving their communities better.

It’s not just the current candidates who are catching flack, Rice has expressed her outrage at our sitting president for his lack of involvement as it concerns police reform.

“He may mention something about it, but he’s not really going to go into details about it and hold the government responsible for killing innocent people.”

While she doesn’t have much faith in our current political system, Rice is still invested in the betterment of our country.

“I consider myself a normal citizen in America, just raising my kids to be productive citizens out here,” she said. “Now I have been put in a place where I have to fight for human rights across this nation and to get some laws changed so we can have a better America.”

You can read her full interview over at Fusion

Why Self-Care Is So Important When The World Is Too Much

July 21st, 2016 - By Niki McGloster
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

After President Obama’s PR perfect town hall meeting about race in America last Thursday, I was desperate to plan some distracting (and slightly drunken) weekend fun. In case you don’t have Twitter, woke friends or you’re living in the same land of delusion as Taylor Swift, the news cycle has been far more depressing than it’s been in a long time, especially for Black folks. In recent weeks, I’ve buried myself in the details of back-to-back shooting deaths of Black men and attacks on police officers without taking a real mental break. As a writer, it’s difficult to succeed without being in the know 24/7, but the rage and confusion I felt after watching President Obama and town hall goers gloss over the issue of policing in this country meant a mental vacation was mandatory for my sanity.

On any given day, with a few disparities based on socioeconomic status, African Americans are more likely to feel a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness when compared to White people. Then, imagine those same people constantly digesting the message that Blacks are disposable through the media every day. The mental pressure of both racism and feeling unsafe in your own environment causes higher-than-normal cortisol levels, which can lead to physical reactions like a weakened immune system and heart disease. It can even result in behavioral changes like overeating, heavy drinking and uncontrollable anger. And who wants to lose themselves because the world’s messed up? Nah.

The self-care you’d exercise to deal with everyday stress, like disconnecting from your work email and making a spa appointment, still applies in times of societal crisis. As the world seemingly unravels, find blocks of time to log off social media, hang out with friends (with your phone off) and create new, positive memories. Read something empowering like Sula by Toni Morrison and go to a boxing class (or just get active in general) to release built up anxiety. Or, take a boat ride around the Potomac River with friends like I did this past weekend. Just do anything to relax your mind and help reduce the negative effects of constant stress, and practice these coping methods often.

If you feel it’s selfish to ignore what’s happening in the world for 48 hours, you’re right. Petty people will assume things like the #KimExposedTaylorParty steal black folks’ attention away from “real issues,” but what they fail to realize is that many of us are begging for the mental relief that comes with celebrity clapbacks.

Truthfully, we all deserve some carefree moments. A few laughs with friends (and Twitter fam) far removed from the black hole of injustice is a welcomed psychological vacation. And we don’t owe anyone an apology for taking care of ourselves. Black death is traumatizing, and with the Trumps still trying to buy the White House, things aren’t necessarily looking optimistic out here. So, get your jokes off, ignore trolls and take care of yourself. I mean, you can’t help others unless you help yourself first, right?