Is there anything we can tell you about Barack Obama that you don't already know? From a young first-term senator to the first Black president of the United States, Obama changed the script of American politics. Rather than talk about what brought him to the White House, we want to talk about his life outside the Oval Office.
By the time Barack Obama became President, he had already published two best-selling autobiographies. The first "Dreams From My Father" received praise from literary luminaries such as Toni Morrison. New York Times columnist Joe Klein said the book "may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician." Robert McCrum included it in his list of 100 best non-fiction books of all time. The audiobook earned Obama the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2006. In 2011, Time Magazine listed the book on its top 100 non-fiction books written in English 1923.
His next book, "The Audacity of Hope," was a best seller on both the New York Times Bestsellers List and Amazon. Three months following the book's release, Barack Obama would announce his run for President. Barack Obama's next book, "Of Thee I Sing," was finished after his successful election as President in 2008, but before taking office. It was published in 2010.
Upon leaving office Penguin Random House signed a deal with Obama to publish his memoir. "A Promised Land" was published in November 2020 and stayed on the New York Times best-seller list for eight consecutive weeks.
In 2018 Barack and Michelle Obama signed a production deal with Netflix on a set of films and series touching on race, class, and democracy. In discussing them, Obama said, "we believe each of these productions won't just entertain but will educate, connect, and inspire us all."
Their first production, American Factory, was released in 2019 and focused on a reopened General Motors plant in Ohio that had previously been abandoned. Higher Ground Productions won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for American Factory. In 2020 they debuted Becoming, a documentary that followed Michelle Obama during her book tour for her book of the same name.
Future projects in the works are a drama series set in post-WWII New York, a film adaptation of the book "Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom," and an educational program about food for children.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.."
This year Barack Obama is breaking ground on the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. To ensure all young men and women of color can reach their full potential, the center has two programs — My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Girls Opportunity Alliance. The Obama Presidential Center has also developed several international programs to identify and engage young leaders in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. We are excited to see the work that Barack and Michelle Obama do with this new initiative.
Barack Obama has won Time Person of the Year... twice, a Nobel Peace Prize, 14 honorary degrees, a President's Medal from Israel, a U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, and an Ambassador of Humanity award from The Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. Obama also has had 13 community schools in the United States named in his honor.
What is there to say about Barack Obama's vocal style? His voice reassures; it expresses empathy and connects with the listener. It can also lift people up, comfort them, and give them hope. "Thanks Obama!"
As the pandemic lockdowns in the U.S. reach a year, wouldn't it be wonderful to get daily messages of hope each morning? I want a digital voice assistant with similar vocal characteristics to Barack Obama talking to me each morning. Not a voice that sounds like Obama, but a voice that can similarly interact with its listeners and elicit similar feelings of trust and reassurance.
Unfortunately, his vocal style has NOT been represented in the digital voices currently dominating the markets. But imagine the possibilities if the world of digital voice matched the world of human voice. If it was as dynamic and expressive? Guess what; digital voice can be all that — learn more about AI-Voice.
Cocoa voices are defined as Soft, Deep, Modal, and Oral. Learn more about the unique characteristics that make up our voices and voice types here: VOCALiD Voice Types.
This is the fifteenth in our Iconic Black Voices series and a special edition in honor of Presidents Day. Make sure to come back to our blog every day this month as we highlight more iconic Black voices in celebration of Black History Month.