Former US President Barack Obama's new book 'A Promised Land' has been making splashes everywhere and book lovers have been engaged in intense discussion over the much anticipated title. At a book discussion organised by the Washington DC-based Mahogany Books and the ‘Very Smart Brothas Book Club’, the panelists were in for a huge surprise when Obama himself appeared popped up as a special guest.
Obama, who was present all throughout the talk, answered questions on his memoir, black bookstores, the protests and racial inequality existing in the US, Michelle, their inauguration outfits and much more.
Black-owned independent bookstores play a critical role in communities all across our country. I wanted to show my support, so I dropped in to surprise the folks from @MahoganyBooks & the Very Smart Brothas Book Club. Take a look. pic.twitter.com/sQdc8xY6xY— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 2, 2021
"I also just wanted to see who the brothers were who named themselves 'The Very Smart Brothas book club,' " Obama joked, when one of the members said "it worked".
Starting off, the former POTUS was asked as to how he was able to maintain a sense of optimism despite the many hindrances that threatened his Presidency, to which he replied how he tries to take the long-term perspective of a certain issue and not the immediate view of things and thus compartmentalize. He also spoke about the recurring incidents of racial injustice that has been plaguing America and how people need to work to sped up the process of making things better.
"When you see a George Floyd or an Eric Garner, who was killed in police custody, that's terrible. That should make you angry. You can't just kind of say, 'Well, it'll take time.' You have to feel pressed now and angry now or sad now," he added to the answer.
The former President said how this is something he believes can not only help being a President, but just to function as a regular Black person in the US.
The discussion took on a lighter note when Obama was asked by one of the panelists about what makes Michelle Obama's looks, especially her recent one at the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris inauguration look seem so off-the-charts. Answering it in his inimitable sense, Obama said that he honestly has no idea because he didn't notice much difference about her hair or anything, except for the fact that he knows she looks 'gorgeous and is a style icon'.
A 28-year-old book club member's question took Obama back to reminiscing his law school days. Asked how he pushed aside "feelings of unpreparedness" throughout his career, he reiterated how having patience with one's own self helps determine the route one wants to take in their life. Obama also said it is important that one questions their passions and figuring that out will help them in planning out the course of one's life.
Obama's memoir 'A Promised Land' has done well in the book market in US. Last year, a few excerpts from the book had stirred up some reactions from political milieu. The 768-page book hit the stands in the US on November 17 and is also available online and talks about Obama's childhood and rise among the political echelons. It also discusses his historic win as the US President.