NewsOne’s PolitickerOne blog tackles some of the most important topics in politics: Election 2016, moves by the Obama administration, voting rights, lawmaking, and the way that elected officials represent our communities. Three times a week, we will go beyond the mainstream media’s “pack” coverage of politics to highlight the underreported aspects of how politics and policy affect you and the people you care about. In between, follow the conversation on Twitter at #PolitickerOne.
President Barack Obama has long made it known that he is a great admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During his first term in office, he added a sculpture of King’s to the Oval Office.
The bust made history during President Obama’s first term when it became the first image of an African American in any public space in the White House.
So it is only fitting that during his final Black History Month as President of the United States, Obama welcomed four members of King’s family to view the bust in the Oval Office for the first time.
Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs, tweeted a touching photo of the moment. The bust is juxtaposed beside an image of George Washington and beneath a photo of the outstretched arm of the Statue of Liberty.
The unveiling came on the same day that the president and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the Black History Month reception at the White House, which was attended by PolitickerOne. It was a festive occasion marked by jokes and serious reflections about race in America.
“We are so proud to honor this rich heritage,” Obama, flanked by the first lady, said at the reception. “Black History Month should not be treated as though it is somehow separate from the rest of American History. It is somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits, from the March on Washington or some of our sports heroes.”
“Preach,” an audience member shouted out.
“There are well-meaning attempts to do all around us in classrooms,” the president continued, “corporate ad campaigns, but we know that it should be more than a commemoration of people or events. It’s about the lived and shared experience of all African Americans.”
1. JANUARY: President Obama delivers the State of the Union address with the support of vice president Joe Biden. Obama gained mass support after his joke about winning both terms.
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2. JANUARY: President Barack Obama has an adorable moment with Akira Cooper at the Community Children's Center, one of the nation's oldest Head Start providers, in Lawrence, Kan.
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3. JANUARY: President Obama greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon arrival at Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi, India.
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4. JANUARY: President Barack Obama greets neighbors after visiting a model home at the Nueva Villas at Beverly, a single-family housing development owned by local nonprofit organization Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. in Phoenix, Ariz.
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5. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama fakes a jump shot during an Affordable Care Act video taping for BuzzFeed in the White House Library. The video went viral thanks to jokes about his presidency and ultra-cool swag.
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6. FEBRUARY: Obama pals around with one of his biggest supporters, vice president Joe Biden. While he chose not to run in the 2016 presidential election, Obama said he would be in his corner.
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7. FEBRUARY: President Barack Obama talks with 13-year-old student Vidal Chastanet as "Humans of New York" founder Brandon Stanton photographs during a blog interview in the Oval Office. Obama was greatly inspired by Chastanet's comments on the popular "Humans of New York" Instagram page, where he shared his troubles finding courage in school and and life despite living in a dangerous area of Brooklyn, NY.
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8. MARCH: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama join hands with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. as they lead the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, in Selma, Ala., March 7, 2015. Malia and Sasha Obama join hands with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.
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9. MARCH: Obama is a classic man as he puts on a green tie in observance of St. Patrick's Day.
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10. MARCH: President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.
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11. APRIL: During the Correspondents' Dinner, his anger translator - played by Key & Peele comedian Keegan-Michael Key - helped Obama get out his biggest frustrations.
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12. APRIL: President Obama arrives in Jamaica to meet with the 15-member Caribbean Community. His trip marked a first for the sitting president and second since the country's independence.
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13. APRIL: Obama speaks with newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office.
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14. JUNE: President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen talking during the president's trip to the G7Summit in Bavaria, Germany.
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15. JUNE: President Obama sings "Amazing Grace" during the eulogy for South Carolina state senator and Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney's funeral service. Clementa was one of the nine victims who died after suspected shooter Dylann Roof entered the AME church and opened fire.
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16. SEPTEMBER: President Obama is featured on the popular show "Running Wild With Bear Grylls." Obama took the trip to highlight the importance of climate control.
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17. SEPTEMBER: The First Couple serve as "love goals" at the White House's state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan. Obama and Xi announced an agreement on controlling climate change and a mutual outlook on cyber security.
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18. OCTOBER: President Obama meets with Ahmed Mohamed, the student who was detained by Texas police for his homemade clock. The president stood by the teen, who many believe was the victim of Islamophobia.
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19. NOVEMBER: President Obama issues a warning to his critics who "pop off" at his policies towards Syrian refugees. Speaking at the OP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Obama welcomed his Republican critics to the White House to lay down their own policies. No one has responded.
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20. DECEMBER: President Obama addresses the public from the Oval Office regarding the San Bernardino shooting.
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21. DECEMBER: All grown up! The First Family, including Obama's mother-in-law Marian Robinson, is seen at the White House's national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.
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Continue reading 21 Of President Barack Obama’s Best Photos Of 2015
21 Of President Barack Obama's Best Photos Of 2015