Former President Barack Obama says his two daughters masked up and marched in Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, albeit in a manner that avoided publicity.
Nineteen-year-old Sasha and 22-year-old Malia joined demonstrations after the death of George Floyd, which created a social reckoning surrounding police brutality against Black people in America, with little guidance from their dad, Obama said in an interview with People magazine promoting his memoir “A Promised Land.”
“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,” Obama said. “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 and myself, on their own initiative.”
“They didn’t do it in a way where they were looking for limelight,” the former president, 59, said. “They were very much in organizer mode.”
“I could not have been prouder of them,” he said.
The girls have largely veered from the limelight since growing up in the public eye during their father’s presidency.
But Obama said they both saw “something wrong” and desired to “fix it,” which motivated them to take action.
“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.”
“I think they’re going to want to have an impact and their friends feel the same way,” he said. “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.”