President Obama: Black Lives Matter Movement Is 'Hugely Important'

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks before a performance by members of the Broadway cast of 'Hamilton,' in the East Room of the White House March 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. Members of the cast participated in a student workshop, student question-and-answer session and a performance of selections from the award winning musical.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15:  Ballerina Misty Copeland attends the 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

President Obama: Black Lives Matter Movement Is 'Hugely Important'

He credits the activists for pushing dialogue on race in America.

Published March 15, 2016

President Barack Obama and ballerina Misty Copeland sat down for an interview with Time magazine about race and status in America from their unique point of view as the first Black president and the first Black principle dancer at the American Ballet Theater. During the interview, Obama touched on the importance of protest movements, including Black Lives Matter, which he called "hugely important."

Obama brought up the significance of the movement, which was born out of a response to police brutality against Black people, when talking about social media and its impact on modern culture. "Well social media obviously is the way in which young people are receiving information in general. So the power of young activists to help shape color and politics through things like Black Lives Matter, which I think is hugely important," he said. "And when I think about the journey I’ve traveled, there’s no doubt that young African-American, Latino, Asian, LGBT youth, they have more role models. They have more folks that they can immediately identify with."

Obama also talks about educating his two daughters about what it means to grow up as a Black person in the current socio-political climate. "You know, I mean I think about this now as a parent. Michelle and I are having a lot of conversations around the dinner table. And for me, what I always try to transmit to my kids is that issues of race, discrimination, tragic history of slavery and Jim Crow, all those things are real," he says. "And you have to understand them and you have to be knowledgeable about them. And recognize that they didn’t stop overnight. Certainly not just when I was elected."

See how the Obamas celebrated this year's Black History Month by playing host to a special day of dances:

(Photo from left: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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