“The most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.”

Barack Obama

“Don't let your failures define you.”

Barack Obama

“America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.”

Barack Obama

“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

Barack Obama

“At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better”

Barack Obama

“I learned to slip back and forth between my black and white worlds, understanding that each possessed its own language and customs and structures of meaning, convinced that with a bit of translation on my part the two worlds would eventually cohere.”

Barack Obama

“A Disavowal of the pursuit of Middleclassness', the heading read. While it is permissible to chase ‘middleincomeness’ with all our might, the text stated, those blessed with the talent or good fortune to achieve success in the American mainstream must avoid the psychological entrapment of Black ‘middleclassness’ that hypnotizes the successful brother or sister into believing they are better than the rest and teaches them to think in terms of ‘we’ and ‘they’ instead of 'US'!”

Barack Obama

“the resilience they had both displayed, the same stubborn strength that had lifted them out of bad circumstances. Except in Auma I had also sensed a willingness to put the past behind her, a capacity to somehow forgive, if not necessarily forget.”

Barack Obama

“Same thing with the distinction Johnnie made between good kids and bad kids—the distinction didn’t compute in my head. It seemed based on a premise that defied my experience, an assumption that children could somehow set the terms of their own development. I thought about Bernadette’s five-year-old son, scampering about the broken roads of Altgeld, between a sewage plant and a dump. Where did he sit along the spectrum of goodness? If he ended up in a gang or in jail, would that prove his essence somehow, a wayward gene … or just the consequences of a malnourished world? And”

Barack Obama

this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal ..."~~Barack Obama upon winning the Democratic nomination for presidency conveys his thinking of what that means ....for the world, Tuesday, JUNE 03, 2008” 

Barack Obama

“Ours is not the first generation to understand the dire need for health reform. And I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.”

Barack Obama

“We are made for this moment, and we will seize it-so long as we seize it together.”

Barack Obama

“We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”

Barack Obama

“When I think about how I understand my role as citizen, setting aside being president…the most important stuff I've learned I think I've learned from novels. It has to do with empathy." President Obama, in conversation with Marilynne Robinson, in New York Review of Books”

Barack Obama

“When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”

Barack Obama


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