Story: Nori Nori
Photos: Bria Janelle
It is the beginning of a new year and the end of President Barack Obama’s 8-year term as President of The United States. Last nights Farewell Address (Jan. 10) given by President Obama was nationally televised from his hometown of Chicago, IL where he will go down in history as one of the most beloved Presidents of all time.
First, let me take you back to the beginning of last nights festivities. The team arrived in Chi-Town to high winds; bone chilling cold air and rain. Understanding that Chicago is the city that birthed the Southside couple into a powerhouse duo that we now know as the First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama.
Last night, anticipation started to build, as many started to take in that this would be the last time Barack Obama would address the nation as our POTUS.
President Obama will pass the torch to 45th President-Elect Donald Trump and although the majority of the people turned out to vote for Trump; (so “they” say) he is no Barack Obama.
Once inside the McCormick Place Center there was a photo on the jumbo screens in black and white that was very reminiscent of Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr.
It captures the President looking as if he is deep thought. He looked determined and he looks aged. POTUS looks like a man that came, saw and and above all else conquered.
Slowly, thousands of people piled in just to get a good glimpse of President Obama during his final speech.
A slide show began and it reminisced on some never before photos of the POTUS and it was a sight to behold.
President Obama is seen laughing, running with kids, taking walks with his daughters, loving on Michelle, in meetings with staff and much more.
The Obama administration also implemented a live twitter feed, based on the tweets, photos and videos posted by those in attendance during last nights event.
The first family exuded nothing but dignity and class as they made their way into the McCormick Place Convention Center to take their seats. The crowd erupted in excitement an enthusiasm as the President made his way to the podium.
Taking it all in during his final farewell address as Commander in Chief; President Obama stood unapologetic before the people.
Before he could complete his thought, the crowd started to chant his mantra of hope and change, “Yes We Can”. He tried to hush the crowd as much as he could and even joked calling himself a lame duck because no one wanted to quiet down.
He started out by thanking those that have helped him along the way, and showed his appreciation of the well wishes he received from many as he and family get set to depart the White House.
POTUS was invigorating and as spirited as he was when he first started this journey back in 2008. He spoke of the start of his race to the White House and how the people believed in him noting this was why he was able to win two terms.
The people believed in hope and change and how shared idealism made this a successful gain for America.
“America is exceptional—not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change and make life better for those who follow”, said President Obama.
He made it clear that he did not turn a blind eye to the racial injustices in America. He spoke directly to all demographics by encouraging people to take a look in the mirror and examine their own racial biases. He stated, “For blacks and other minority groups, it means tying our own very real struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face…”
President Obama praised those that embraced equality, respected Muslims and reminded the nation that we have the capacity to continue what we have started. POTUS continued to encourage people that politics can empower transformational and economic change.
President Obama stated so eloquently, “Change happens only happens when ordinary people get involved and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it”.
POTUS closed out his speech by thanking his wife, children and many from his administration.
The love and passion that he continues to display for Michelle and his daughters has never been expressed by a sitting President. I think it’s safe to say that Barack and Michelle are the perfect example of black love and relationship goals.
President Obama made it evident that she is his backbone and has been with him every step of the way for the last 25 years. He expressed that out of all of the things he has accomplished, the thing that he is the most proud of is being their dad.
At that moment it was safe to say there was not a dry eye in the building or watching TV for that matter. He continued his acknowledgements and ended his speech with this, “I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change—but in yours”.
Yes We Can.
Yes We Did.
Yes We Can.