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Barack Obama  Dad, husband, President, citizen.

Five years ago, I launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative calling on all Americans to take action on behalf our nation’s boys and young men of color. It was a call to make sure every child felt valued, safe, and supported by their community—a call to help these young men in particular see hope and opportunity in their future.

We’ve come a long way in those five years. Today, as part of the @ObamaFoundation, the @MBK_Alliance consists of nearly 250 communities working to break down barriers that too often leave boys and young men of color at a disadvantage. And tomorrow in Oakland, I’ll join the My Brother’s Keeper community to mark the progress we’ve made and chart the course ahead at a celebration we’re calling MBK Rising!

In the lead-up to the event, and in honor of Black History Month, I wanted to share a nonfiction reading list that can help to provide some essential context about the challenges that many people of color face every day. From modern memoirs to cornerstones of the American narrative, these works can help us better understand our country’s past and our evolving, persistent struggles with race—and they can be fuel on our journey toward a more fair and just future for all of our sons and daughters. They certainly are for me.

I hope you’ll take some time to read some of these books, letters, and articles. And tomorrow, I hope you’ll follow along with MBK Rising! at Obama.org/mbka.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
A Stone of Hope: A Memoir by Jim St. Germain with Jon Sternfeld
The Upshot from The New York Times: Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

Happy Valentine’s Day to the extraordinarily smart, beautiful, funny, one and only @MichelleObama. It’s true; she does get down to Motown.

Don’t be sad it’s over, be proud it taught us so much. Congrats to all the men and women of @NASA on a Mars rover mission that beat all expectations, inspired a new generation of Americans, and demands we keep investing in science that pushes the boundaries of human knowledge.

As we celebrate Black History Month and Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the life of all whose courage opened the gates for everybody, and in the process, made America better.

I knew it way back then and I’m absolutely convinced of it today — you’re one of a kind, @MichelleObama. Happy Birthday!

As a bridge between the East and West, Hawaiʻi is a part of the fabric of both the U.S. and the broader Asia-Pacific region. It’s a place of tremendous diversity and global potential. It’s also the place I call home. This weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down in Hawaiʻi with 21 exceptional emerging leaders from the Asia-Pacific, designing an @ObamaFoundation program that will convene hundreds of changemakers from the region so that they can come together to support each other, share ideas, and solve the greatest challenges they face. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.

As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Swipe through to see my best of 2018 list – I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.

Enjoy the holiday season with the ones you love. Michelle and I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

There’s no better time than the holiday season to give back to your community and spread some holiday cheer. Yesterday I got to do just that at Children’s National Hospital in DC. As we celebrate the season and look forward to the New Year, let’s recommit to doing our part to build a world that is a little more generous, tolerant, and kind.
Video: @ObamaFoundation

No jump shots. No ferns. No memes. Not this time. I’m going to give it to you straight:

If you need health insurance for 2019, the deadline to get covered is December 15. Head to HealthCare.gov today. Most people can find a plan for less than the price of a monthly cell phone bill.

Go to HealthCare.gov and pass this on — you just might save a life.

I am grateful for the next generation of leaders who are doing the work to create the world as it should be. Our young people—tolerant, creative, idealistic—remind us that the best way to honor our communities is to serve them. They understand that hope requires action. From the Obama family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

When someone shares their story, we see the world through their eyes. I’m looking forward to hearing a few from leaders around the world and sharing my own at the @ObamaFoundation Summit in Chicago. Tune in at Obama.org.

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