New book on Obama explores young leaders’ viewpoints about first African-American president

Amber Communications Group, Inc.’s imprint, the award-winning Amber Books, has published “Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders” by Gregory Reed, Esq., CEO and founder of Keeper of the Word Foundation, with a foreword and epilogue by William Alexander Haley, CEO, Alex Haley Foundation.

President Barack Obama achieved a landslide victory in 2008 and has touched the lives of young people more so than any previous president. During his presidency, he sought to continue that inspiration by maintaining an engaged relationship with the nation’s youth.

This collection of students’ letters accompanied by President Obama’s responses, speeches, public statements, and quotations during his campaign, tenure as president-elect, and his presidency, is the most comprehensive collection of letters and responses ever assembled as a book in the history of our nation for a sitting president. This historic collection of letters featuring the voices of today’s young leaders and their mission to be heard is a rarity. Letters addressed to the president of the United States are kept sealed by the government office for up to twelve years after the president has left office.

The young people’s letters cover a wide range of human emotions, fears, and concerns and echo President Obama’s message for change as these young people make their spiritual and intellectual pilgrimage into adult citizenship.

Their letters reveal they have concern for peace, healthcare, freedom, education, poverty, religious tolerance, love, materialism, and equality in America. The letters address our nation’s concerns that do not always get the attention they should, like immigration issues, crime, poverty, global climate change, economic issues, racism, war, religion, same-sex marriage, discrimination, and many more. They recognize that President Obama shares their creativity, concerns and supports their mission with his words and actions.

From these letters, we learn that these young citizens are committed to their country and the world. They are not quitters. From President Obama we learn the importance of listening to one another, and of perseverance. We learn that in desperate times, we must have faith and know we are empowered to change the circumstances and conditions of our lives and the destiny of America for the better.

This was made evident by Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from South Carolina who appeared at Obama’s first joint session speech to Congress asking her government to use stimulus funds to make repairs to her dilapidated school, and by the several thousand letters received by the Keeper of the Word Foundation.

The personal thoughts of the writers are a rare and private glimpse into the dialogue between our nation’s youth and their sitting president in office. Their letters, including those of the Boston Latin School of Massachusetts, are priceless, timeless, inspiring and powerful.

In some of President Obama’s remarks, he talks of global lessons or universal lessons of change taught to him by his mother and discoveries from prior leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. He speaks on how these lessons can transform the lives of our youth by adopting the values of perseverance, power of one, confidence, purpose, sacrifice, patience, unity, integrity, courage, dignity, selflessness and commitment.

Chapters in “Obama Talks Back: Global Lessons — A Dialogue with America’s Young Leaders” include: “Message to Young People,” “The Letters: What I Want for You and Every Child,” “Obama Talks Back On: Education/Digital Currency, Courage and Hope, War-Crime-Non-Violence & Justice, The Economy, Social Concern-Activism-Family-Parenting,” “Obama Talks to American Students,” “Spiritual Journal to the White House” and “President Obama’s Most Notable Speeches.”

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