President Barack Obama has a lot of reasons to be proud of his daughters Sasha and Malia. But one of their best qualities that the A Promised Land author, 59, couldn’t help but ardently praise was their initiative to get involved with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that occurred over the summer. “I didn’t have to give them a lot of advice because they had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” the former president said of Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, in an interview with People.
“Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle [Obama] and myself, on their own initiative.” President Obama reiterated that his daughters were not in any way “looking for limelight.” In fact, the two young women, both in college, “were very much in organizer mode,” their father shared.Over the course of the summer, the entire world saw the mobilization of citizens demanding justice for the Black lives lost as a result of police brutality. Millions marched in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many more whose lives were cut far too short. President Obama, who was a community organizer himself prior to entering the realm of American politics, was overwhelmed by his daughters’ response.
“I could not have been prouder of them,” he shared with the outlet. Before they engaged in the demonstrations, President Obama confessed that his daughters did seek some advice from their parents. “I think a couple of times they asked for sort of very specific suggestions about what would be the best way to communicate X or what would be the most useful thing that, if we were mobilizing a whole bunch of friends, to have an impact, what should we be doing?” he reflected.“But they didn’t need to be encouraged,” he shared. “Their attitude was: ‘We’ve seen something wrong and we want to fix it, and we think we can fix it. And we understand that it’s not gonna take just a day or a week or one march to fix it. But we’re in it for the long haul.'”
Although he doesn’t see his daughters going into politics, President Obama strongly believes that his daughters will be “active citizens” throughout their lives. “They’re reflective of their generation in the sense they want to make a difference and they think about their careers in terms of: How do I have a positive impact? How do I make the world better?” he said. “What particular paths they take in doing that, I think are going to change and vary between the two of them,” he observed.“I think they’re going to want to have an impact and their friends feel the same way,” President Obama continued. “It’s interesting when you talk to them in groups, the degree to which, compared to young people when I was coming out of college or you know even 20 years ago, I think people were much more focused on their finances and the perks of a job. And these kids are really focused on — how can I do something that I find meaningful, that resonates with my values and my ideals? And that I think is an encouraging sign for the country.”