Former US president Barack Obama has given a moving speech addressing George Floyd‘s death and the global protests that have followed, saying during the live stream that the response from young people has helped give him hope.
In the virtual town hall meeting on police violence – which was put together by an Obama Foundation organisation called My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, which supports boys and young men of colour – Obama paid tribute to the Black lives lost through acts of racism and police brutality, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and Sean Reed.
His 15-minute address also began by acknowledging that the recent protests and campaigning that have spun out of such injustice, saying: “Let me start by just acknowledging that we have seen in the last several weeks, last few months, the kinds of epic changes and events in our country that are as profound as anything that I’ve seen in my lifetime.
“And I’m now a lot older… I’m going to be 59 soon.”
Obama, who served as president between 2009 and 2017, continued: “And part of what’s made me so hopeful is the fact that so many young people have been galvanised and activated and motivated and mobilised. Because historically, so much of the progress that we’ve made in our society has been because of young people.