“This world is like a big classroom, and USA is the teacher, while other countries are the students, as one student tries to mess with the teacher, or does something really bad. The teacher shall teach him a nice lesson. Use your brain before you try to mess with the odds.”

Barack Obama

“You might be locked in a world not of your own making, her eyes said, but you still have a claim on how it is shaped. You still have responsibilities.”

Barack Obama

“I couldn’t rid myself of the sense that Roy was in danger somehow, that old demons were driving him toward an abyss, and that if only I was a better brother, my intervention would prevent his fall.”

Barack Obama

“It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: (White) People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied, they were relieved — such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn’t seem angry all the time.”

Barack Obama

“At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God's edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one's life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.”

Barack Obama

“My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didn't, couldn't end there.  At least that's what I would choose to believe.”

Barack Obama

“We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change. We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

Barack Obama

“The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past.”

Barack Obama

“In fact, you couldn't even be sure that everything you had assumed to be an expression of your black, unfettered self-- the humor, the song, the behind-the-back pass-- had been freely chosen by you. At best, these things were a refuge; at worst, a trap. Following this maddening logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage, until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat. And the final irony: Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger.”

Barack Obama

“There is no excuse for not trying.”

Barack Obama

“To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.”

Barack Obama

“right; maybe once you stripped away the rationalizations, it always came down to a simple matter of escape. An escape from poverty or boredom or crime or the shackles of your skin.”

Barack Obama

“What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Barack Obama

“I was impatient in those days, busy with work and unrealized plans, and prone to see other people as unnecessary distractions.”

Barack Obama

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”

Barack Obama


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