All Articles Tagged "President Obama"

President Obama Delivers Commencement Speech To Howard Graduates: “Be Confident In Your Blackness”

May 8th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Yesterday (May 7), social media timelines were flooded with with two epic hashtags: Barack Obama Howard University, as the President presented an outstanding commencement speech to the graduating class.

Obama’s 45-minute speech consisted of pushing for change, voting and most importantly the idea of shaping our collective future by being passionate about African-American heritage. “Be confident in your heritage. Be confident in your blackness,” he said. “Create your own style, set your own standard of beauty, embrace your own sexuality. Because you’re a black person — doing whatever it is that you’re doing — that makes it a black thing! Or,” the president continued, “as my daughters tell me all the time: ‘You be you, Daddy.’”

The President also spoke on issues that are still lingering in the country such as gender way gap, mass incarceration and education. And of course, he brought things right on home and into perspective by stressing how the spectrum of the free world is impacted by voting.

“You have to go through life with more than just a passion for change — you have to have strategy,” he explained. “Not just awareness but action, not just hashtags but votes.

Well, congratulations are definitely in order for Obama, who delivered his most profound commencement speeches of his presidency. Press play and watch President Obama’s full commencement speech below.

The Funniest And Most Provocative Moments From President Obama’s Final WHCD

May 2nd, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

On Saturday, April 30, President Obama delivered his 8th and final White House Correspondents’ Dinner speech.  As always, his remarks were filled with smart jokes, clever political jabs and, for the first time, a mic drop to end all mic drops.

Following President Obama was no easy feat, but ‘twas comedian and the host of The Nightly Show, Larry Wilmore’s job for the night.  If you haven’t already heard, one Wilmore comment, in particular, left many folks, shall we say, less than thrilled.  Here are the top moments from President Obama’s last WHCD.

Image Source: AP/Susan Walsh

Image Source: AP/Susan Walsh

You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone

After his brief introduction, President Obama walked up to the podium with the song “When I’m Gone” playing in the background.  “You can’t say it, but you know it’s true,” joked the President, reflecting on the song’s lyrics. “You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”  It’s definitely true.  You will be missed, Mr. President!

Black Lives Matter: 6th Grade Boys Write Letter To President Obama

April 11th, 2016 - By Chad Milner
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From left to right: Phoenix, Zayd, Bryson and Keidy, all sixth graders at Wildwood Elementary in Amherst.

From left to right: Phoenix, Zayd, Bryson and Keidy, all sixth graders at Wildwood Elementary in Amherst.

Phoenix, Zayd, Bryson, and Keidy of Wildwood Elementary School in Amherst, MA, are sixth graders who are doing their part to make the world a better place.

In February, the boys’ teacher, Chris Eggmeir, assigned a project in which his students were instructed to find a problem in the world and explore possible solutions to it. Bryson had become interested in the Black Lives Matter movement and proposed to his group members that they take on racism, with Black Lives Matter being a potential solution to it.

After doing the research, the boys decided to draft a letter to President Obama, lamenting their thoughts, frustrations, and hopes as young Black males in America.  Before sending it, the boys asked a paraprofessional, Mtalia William Banda, at their school to edit the letter.  Banda posted the letter on his politically-driven blog, Soul Latte, saying “I knew immediately this needed to be shared.”

Upon posting, the letter has been shared thousands of times and the boys have been featured on Western Massachusetts news outlets.  Phoenix, Zayd, Bryson, and Keidy recently read the their letter aloud at a Black Lives Matter forum in their home state.

In the letter, after addressing President Obama and introducing themselves, the boys state that because of Black Lives Matter, they want to voice their concerns about equal treatment by members of law enforcement.  The four young men also explain the origins of the Black Live Matter movement starting after Trayvon Martin was gunned down and give statistics that ultimately suggest one of them could personally fall victim to the prison system in some capacity or another.

The most poignant part of the letter is towards the end. Many have been confused and against Black Lives Matter because they assume that it’s racist, while others have been asking “Why don’t all lives matter?”  The four break this down in a manner that most can understand:

“… Some people take this movement in the wrong way by thinking that they are just saying that only Black lives matter but no, we are saying that Black lives matter too, which means all lives matter.  Whites are treated like they matter by the police.  For instance, one in three Black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.  African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.  This shows that blacks are treated unfairly.  This movement advocates for our rights.”  

As of yet, President Obama hasn’t responded to the boys’ letter.  At Madamenoire, we’re just doing our part to make sure the message gets heard.  You can read the full letter here.  

Chad Milner is a New York-based writer who founded the blog Single Dadventures, where he pens his (mis)adventures with his daughter, Cydney.  He regularly contributes to Madamenoire, as well as various websites, giving insight on parenting, dating, relationships and music from the perspective of a young, single Black father.  Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

“America Is A Nation Of Second Chances” President Obama Commuted The Sentences Of 61 People

April 1st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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In the beginning, when the notion of the first Black president was still just a joke, comedians used to say that once he was elected, all Black people, who were once incarcerated, were going to be freed. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Not even close.

But earlier this week, President Obama did pardon 61 inmates charged with non-violent crimes, most of them low-level drug offenders.

Not only did he pardon them, he welcomed some of them, along with those pardoned by President Clinton and President Bush, to the White House. Afterward, he took them out to lunch.

The president shared the meeting through a live Facebook chat.

He also shared these words.

I’m about to drop by a meeting with a few folks whose prison sentences were commuted either by President Bush, President Clinton, or me. They don’t know this yet, but I’m going to invite them to join me for lunch so I can hear their stories firsthand.

They’re Americans who’d been serving time on the kind of outdated sentences that are clogging up our jails and burning through our tax dollars. Simply put, their punishments didn’t fit the crime.

Today, I issued 61 more commutations to folks a lot like these – most of them are low-level drug offenders whose sentences would have been shorter if they were convicted under today’s laws. I believe America is a nation of second chances, and with hard work, responsibility, and better choices, people can change their lives and contribute to our society.

That’s why as long as I’m President, I’m going to keep working for a justice system that restores a sense of fairness, uses tax dollars more wisely, and keeps our communities safe.

You can watch the touching video below.

According to the White House, President Obama has now commuted sentences for 248 people as a way to assert his commitment to reform our current criminal justice system.

Girl Who Cried Because President Obama Is Leaving The White House, Got To Meet Him

March 30th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Girl Who Cried Because President Obama Is Leaving The White House, Got To Meet Him

Source: Facebook

Last month, we told you about Traci Braxton feeling comfortable enough to call out “Heeey Michelle” in the White house, during a press conference. It’s always the moments like those that remind us that we’re really going to miss the First Family.

No one echoed those sentiments better than first-grader Kamaria Crayton. When her grandmother told her that President Obama was only allowed to serve two terms and would be leaving the White House, she cried…wailed actually, until her grandmother suggested that she write him a letter.

Which is exactly what little Kameria did. Luckily, that letter got her an invitation to the White House.

The first-grader got a chance to meet the President during this past weekend’s Easter Egg Roll.

You can watch their meeting in the video below.

Was This Tango With President Obama Inappropriate?

March 24th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Was This Tango With President Obama Inappropriate?

Source: AP Images

If you know anything about dance, you know the tango has a very passionate, very touchy-feely vibe to it. Naturally, as the dance originated in Argentina, it was only right that President Obama and the First Lady get a chance to experience it firsthand as they’re traveling through Latin America.

Yesterday, at a state dinner held in his honor, the President and First Lady danced in Buenos Aires with some performers.

While some were criticizing the dance for being inappropriate in light of the recent attacks in Brussels, others, like me, are looking at the way the lady dancer threw her leg up on the president during their dance.

Now listen, a part of me gets it. The lifted leg is a tango staple. Still, not only is President Obama the leader of the free world and a married man, his wife was standing right there.

Now, I don’t think the woman was trying to push up, she was just doing her thing. Too bad that thing just so happens to be spreading her legs and throwing it up on his waist. Tradition or not, it’s sexual. She seemed cool, gushing over the first lady just the way we would if she were in our presence.

And from the looks of the video, it would appear that President Obama was trying to put an end to that quickly, shifting the momentum so she had to cut that out.

The question is, do you think it was inappropriate?

Personally, it gave me pause seeing it. And I know if I were in her position, I would never try anything like that. Still, I’m not a dancer or Argentinian, steeped in the culture.

What do you think about this move? Do you think President Obama handled it appropriately?

Check out the video below to watch the full thing.

Stop The Madness: 10 Things And People We’re Still Tired Of In 2016

March 17th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Bad Habits That Women Can't Stand

Image Source:

If 2016 looks and feels strangely familiar in a déjà vu sort of way, there’s a reason.  We’re still in the first quarter of 2016 and yet so much of this new year (can we still call it a new year?) is filled with the same old antics we hoped and prayed would be left in the past where they belong.  Here’s a list of things we’re still tired of in 2016.



Attacking Young Black Celebs

“Comedian” Julie Klausner straight up attacked Zendaya Coleman by publicly body-shaming the young star’s weight.  In proper fashion, Coleman clapped back at Klausner, asking if she wants to be next to be set straight (remember, Zendaya schooled Giuliana Rancic after she made disrespectful comments about her faux locs).

And a New York Post writer recently trashed siblings Jaden and Willow Smith, saying “any reasonable parent would be ashamed of them.”  What’s shameful is these grown adults thinking it’s okay to behave in this manner.  If the tables were turned and someone came after their children in the same way, they’d be up in arms.

Watch President Obama’s SXSW Keynote Conversation

March 13th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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President Barack Obama made his SXSW debut on Friday (Mar. 11), serving as part of a Keynote Conversation at their Interactive conference.

For his 45-minute conversation with Evan Smith, CEO / Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, the president discussed the role technology plays in civil engagement. In addition, the in-depth talk spilled over into topics like climate change and the recent privacy/security debate that’s ongoing with Apple and the FBI.

Aside from hot-button issues, Obama’s discussion also focused on the connectedness of society — how we can “start coming up with new platforms, new ideas across disciplines and across skill sets to solve some of the big problems we’re facing today.”

He also spoke directly to nearly 2,000 members of the tech community, explaining their importance in our society. “The reason I’m here is to recruit all of you,” he said. “We’re going to need the tech community to help us solve this problem,” in regards to the privacy controversy between Apple and the FBI.

Press play and watch the full interview above.

“They Grow Up Too Fast”: Malia, Sasha Obama Turn Heads At Their First State Dinner

March 11th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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The first kids at last nights state dinner. #SashaObama #MaliaObama #potus #flotus #whitehouse #firstkids

A photo posted by Chicks ‘n’ Politics (@chicksnpolitics) on

In a room full of dignitaries and Canadian-born celebrities (no, Drake was not present), all eyes managed to be on two of the youngest guests attending the Trudeau State Dinner last night at the White House.

The dinner, which honored Canada’s newest prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was Malia and Sasha Obama’s very first state dinner and black-tie gala. Malia, 17, and Sasha, 14, were sandwiched between celebrities like Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh and actress Blake Lively, who is married to actor Ryan Reynolds. Oh and Reynolds are both from Canada.

Trudeau, 44, who is the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, made mention of both young ladies during his speech at the dinner. He recounted his own experience as the child of a world leader who grew up in the spotlight, as his father was in office from the time he was born up until he was 8.

“The memories for me of being a kid and not being old enough to attend these kinds of events with my father almost makes me wish I had gone through my teenage years as a child of a world leader—but not quite,” Trudeau joked.

He continued, “I admire you very much, both of you, for your extraordinary strength and your grace, through what is a remarkable childhood and young adulthood that will give you extraordinary strength and wisdom beyond your years for the rest of your life. The one thing that you have received from your extraordinary parents is the tools to be able to handle the challenges and the opportunities in front of you. So thank you very much for joining us tonight.”

And President Obama, who has spoken extensively over the last few years about the excitement, and sometimes sadness, of watching his little girls grow up, acknowledged the teens once again when it was time for him to take his place at the podium and speak. They’re far from the 7 and 10-year-old children they were back when President Obama took office in 2008.

“They grow up too fast,” he said. “This fall, Malia heads off to college. And I’m starting to choke up.”

And, as previously reported, once Malia heads to school, the Obama family will stay in D.C. for a couple of years, as opposed to returning to Chicago, so that Sasha can finish her studies at the private school Sidwell Friends.

Check out images of the First Family during last night’s dinner, with all of the Obama women looking like a million bucks. Oh, and, of course, President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau didn’t look too shabby either (Michelle and Sophie both wore Jason Wu, who was raised in Vancouver by the way, and Malia and Sasha wore Naeem Khan).

Malia Obama

Corbis/Olivier Douliery/Abaca

Malia Obama attends a state dinner at the White House March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Photo by Olivier Douliery/Abaca

Corbis/Olivier Douliery/Abaca

Sasha Obama

Corbis/Olivier Douliery/Abaca

Sasha Obama

Corbis/Olivier Douliery/Abaca

Michelle and Barack Obama





President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Confirmed As SXSW Keynotes

March 5th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Michelle Obama talks the benefits of turning 50

Source: WENN

It’s that time of the season y’all: music festival season, that is.

And South By Southwest (SXSW) just gave all other festivals a run for their money when they announced who would be keynote speakers for their annual conferences. Drum roll, please! This year’s speakers will be none other than President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The exciting news was revealed on Wednesday (Mar. 2), when the SXSW site announced that Barack will “appear as part of a Keynote Conversation at SXSW Interactive” on Friday, March 11, and Michelle will take center stage as the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16.

President Obama is set to sit with Evan Smith, CEO/ Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for “a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives.”

The First Lady will discuss her amazing Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to educate young girls (approx. 62 million) to have the opportunity to attend school, in an effort to celebrate Women’s History Month.

I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW,” said Co-founder Roland Swenson. “As each new generation comes up at SXSW they look for ways they can be of service, and it’s important to reflect and support the message. President and Mrs. Obama’s visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose.”