Barack Obama Discusses Race And His Upbringing In New Documentary

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

During his last few years in office, President Barack Obama has grown increasingly open about race relations in America and his personal experiences. In a new documentary, “Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper” by Discovery, he detailed what it was like growing up as a young black man. 

“I always see myself in them," he said in the interview conducted last month, according to ABC News. "I do know what it means to come of age uncertain about your place and not clear about what it means to become a man and not having as much guidance, despite the extraordinary love of my mom and my grandparents, and getting in trouble and making bad decisions.

"It’s useful for them to hear from somebody who’s come out on the other side of it that the challenges they are going through are not exceptional," he added.

Obama also took the opportunity to discuss his initiative called My Brother's Keeper, which seeks to help struggling boys and young men of color. The initiative has already raised more than  $80 million in commitments from corporations and other donors and will begin in January 2017, after Obama leaves office, The New York Times reported.

The documentary will air this weekend and the message seems especially poignant in the wake of the June 17 Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting, which left nine black people dead, including 21-year-old Tywanza Sanders, a recent college graduate.

The documentary can be viewed on the Discovery Channel and OWN this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Sources: The New York Times, ABC News

Image via Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons