This past Tuesday, Barack Obama and Stephen Curry spoke at a town hall event where they urged young people from minority backgrounds to develop confidence without feeling the need to build self-worth based around chasing women and money.
The event took place in Oakland, California, — marking the fifth anniversary of Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.
My Brother’s Keeper was started by President Obama following the death of Trayvon Martin.
“MBK Rising! is an opportunity for youth and community leaders to connect, learn, and share.” the caption under the video reads.
“The MBK Alliance, now part of the Obama Foundation, leads a national call to action to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear paths to opportunity — with a focus on encouraging mentorship and reducing youth violence.”
Curry, along with the former president, discussed the hurdles they faced in their earlier years while also discussing hip-hop, policing in minority communities, discipline in schools, male role models as well as manhood.
Obama also touched on societal pressures that younger generations face due to hip hop’s portrayal of what it means to be successful.
The former President’s remarks were said to be one of the event’s “more humorous moments,” as he made his point while throwing some shade.
“We live in a culture where our worth is measured by how much money we have and how famous we are,” Obama said to the crowd, which consisted of young people flown to the Bay from around the country.
“I will tell you, at the end of the day, the thing that will give you confidence is not that. I know a lot of rich people that are all messed up.”
Obama then addressed hip hop stars as well as their image.
“If you are really confident about your financial situation, you’re probably not going to be wearing an 8-pound chain around your neck. If you’re very confident about your sexuality, you don’t have to have eight women around you twerking.”
Obama went there!
And on that note, Curry touched on how he was “all kinds of screwed up” when he was younger — which he said came from meeting his father just once.
Curry shared that his NBA-playing dad, Dell, was a “consistent presence” in his youth — and he credited both his parents for aiding him developing his confidence.
“The confidence to kind of get over that hump was a process,” Curry said. “The swagger that you see on the court right now, it wasn’t always there. It was a constant struggle.”
Obama shared how it was not until he started thinking of how he could help others that he developed confidence.
“I think I started to grow up when I stopped thinking about myself, and I started thinking about how I can be useful to other people,” Obama said. “The amazing thing is, when you help somebody, and you see that positive impact on somebody, that gives you confidence.”
Throughout the hour-long event, Obama also shared how correcting stereotypes was necessary for growth.
“Some communities need more police, not fewer police,” he continued. “Building trust, knowing who is who and just because somebody is wearing a hoodie doesn’t mean they are a criminal. That is just the style.”
Watch the full video, below.
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