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Home / US / Michelle Obama Podcast: Obamas reflect on how they have used elite education and access to help empower their communities

Michelle Obama Podcast: Obamas reflect on how they have used elite education and access to help empower their communities

During Wednesday’s 49-minute episode, the first black woman and the first Black president of the United States discussed the promotion of social justice after the death of George Floyd, the importance of the younger generation being politically engaged and the family. The Obamas, who both received their law degrees from Harvard University, also stressed that the perspective they gained from their experiences influenced their passion for political advocacy in their communities.

Barack Obama, who was the first African American to be president of the Harvard Law Review, said his Harvard education gave him the “credentials and security” to work in the community organization. .

“I think it seemed once I got to school that if I stayed after my own success, that somehow, I would end up alone and not happy,” he said. “And that̵

7;s why I ended up getting involved in the community organization and the work I was doing because when I thought about how I want to spend my life, what I looked at was what those civil rights workers did … And the freedom of the leaders I did. And I thought, you know, that it looks like hard work but never looks like lonely work. That seems like hard and risky work but never seems like selfish, isolated, meaningless work. “

He later said, “So, but the thing that gave me a Harvard education, the real ticket I punched was not to run as much money as I wanted. What I bought was enough credentials and security that I could go crazy. .things I wanted to do in terms of working in the barracks, getting into politics, everything, “the former president said. “He knows I have enough ground under me that I’m going to be okay.”

Michelle Obama, who grew up in southern Chicago, discussed working as a boys associate for Sidley Austin, a law firm in the city, and the loneliness she felt while looking at the neighborhood she came from.

“I was on track. I was checking my boxes. Because I was doing what I thought and thought I should do because I was a poor kid. So, I didn’t feel like I had the option to just leave and do other things. , “she said. “But I had a limited vision of what I could be because schools don’t show the world, they just show you a bunch of careers. But I came to learn the same thing that I learned that while I’m working on the 47th floor in that law firm that seeks to make all the money, that felt lonely. ”

She continued, “And she felt isolated. And you know, I had this amazing view from the southeast side of town from my office,” she said. “I could see the pond and I could see the whole neighborhood that I had to come to. And I never felt further away from that neighborhood than when I was sitting in that office working on briefs and cases that didn’t have nothing to do with what helped a wider group of people outside of me. “

After graduating from college and before going to law school, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer and helped register people to vote on South Chicago. Michelle Obama became the city’s assistant commissioner for planning and development and later served as executive director of the Chicago Allies Public, nonprofit chapter involving youth in public leadership.

Speaking about youth and government, Michelle Obama said she has hope when looking at youth but is concerned that she often hears “too many young people questioning whether to vote, whether it’s worth the policy.”

“Well, partly because they were told. The message is sent every day that the government is not working,” Barack Obama responded. “They capture all the things that a government is working on in the past … somehow, we’re still living on the investment that has been made by that larger generation.”

The first woman jokes that some young people know more about the cereals they are eating than what the government is doing because the government has no market budgets. They both agreed that it seems the time for young people to understand what is going on in government is when it is not working and Barack Obama added, “So we’re getting a good lesson in that right now.”

He later added, “The danger for this generation is that they have become too deep cynical in government. They are not understanding who the whole government is, we are collectively making decisions together,” he said.

“It’s just certain things you have to do collectively because they’re too big, too expensive,” note the coronavirus pandemic and building infrastructure.

But the former president said in the end, “I think people will do the right thing.”

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