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Michelle Obama Talks Her Presidential Family’s Impact on Black Youth

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Michelle and Barack Obama (Essence) Michelle Obama on Her White House Legacy: ‘It means something for Black kids to see us’

Michelle Obama knows how important a Black family in the White House is to African-American children. As her husband Barack Obama’s final term as president comes to a close, the spouses reflected on their greatest impact.

“I think when it comes to Black kids, it means some­thing for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them,” she told Essence for their October issue. “It matters. All the future work that Barack talked about, I think over these last few years, we’ve kind of knocked the ceiling of limitation off the roofs of many young kids; imaginations of what’s possible for them.”

Michelle also explained her “lasting impact” of showing Black children their goals are achievable.

“As a mother, I wouldn’t underestimate how important that is, having that vision that you can really do anything – not because somebody told you, but because you’ve seen and experienced it,” she added. “I think that will be a lasting impact on our kids.”

The first lady covers the magazine with Barack, who opened up about his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. He explained it is the most notable accomplishment as president.

“For me, things like My Brother’s Keeper, that’s something I’m confident we’ll be continuing after we leave.”

The program was launched in 2014 to guide Black boys and minority males onto a path of success. It brought together a set of non-profit groups, businesses and philanthropic organizations to make that happen. Most recently, Barack teamed up with Stephen Curry to promote the importance of mentors.

Both Barack and Michelle hope to see the program and the first lady’s global education initiative, Let Girls Learn, live on after their time at the White House is over.

And while the president believes “America is better off now than we were when we came into office,” he notes “we still have a lot of work to do.”

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