“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”

Barack Obama

“Chicago, a town that’s accustomed to its racial wounds and prides itself on a certain lack of sentiment.”

Barack Obama

“How could America send men into space and still keep its black citizens in bondage?”

Barack Obama

“inexhaustible...our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God.”

Barack Obama

“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling conventions. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated. But this strategy alone couldn't provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerant. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.”

Barack Obama

“Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”

Barack Obama

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

Barack Obama

“Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma. They end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs when, if you, they just gave, you gave, treatment early, and they got some treatment, and uhhh a breathalyzer, or uhh, an inhalator, not a breathalyzer...”

Barack Obama

“I don’t like politics much,” she said. “Why’s that?” “I don’t know. People always end up disappointed.”

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

“I find comfort in the fact that the longer I'm in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that striving for power and rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience.”

Barack Obama

“It is harder to end a war, than begin one.”

Barack Obama

“This victory alone is not the change we seek; it is only the chance for us to make that change.”

Barack Obama

“The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power--and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness of their condition. But that's not all the law is. The law is also memory; the law also records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience.”

Barack Obama

“If my father hadn’t exactly disappointed me, he remained something unknown, something volatile and vaguely threatening

Barack Obama


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