Barack and Michelle Obama open up about race in America

The former president and first lady share their thoughts on reparations and racial equality in the U.S.
2:56 | 02/27/21

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Transcript for Barack and Michelle Obama open up about race in America
We do want to turn to our "Gma" cover story. The Obamas are speaking out about race in America. ABC's elwyn Lopez joins us from Atlanta with what the former first family is saying about things like reparations and racial equality. Elwyn, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, whit. Former president Barack Obama explaining why reparations for black Americans were not on his agenda during his presidency. As black history month comes to a close, former first couple, Barack and Michelle Obama are speaking out on race in America. In America, liberty, justice and accountability are not for The ideal, this more perfect union of ours, is far from where the reality has been. Reporter: The pair appearing in two separate interviews with the former president taking a position on reparations for black Americans. So if you ask me theoretically are reparations justified, the answer is yes. There's not much question, right? Joining Bruce Springsteen in the latest episode of their joint podcast "Renegades: Born in the usa" saying -- The power of this country was built in significant part, not exclusively, maybe not even the majority of it, but a large portion of it was built on the backs of slaves. Reporter: The former president reflecting on why he didn't push for preparations during his administration. What I saw during my presidency was that the politics of white resistance and resentment, all that made the prospect of actually proposing any kind of coherent, meaningful reparations programs struck me as politically, not only a nonstarter, but potentially counterproductive. Reporter: Former first lady Michelle Obama addresses younger generations directly making an appearance on YouTube originals black history month special "Black renaissance". Deciding who it is you are underneath all the pressures and expectations that other folks want to put on you, it's a lot. Reporter: And calling out institutional racism in its past and present forms, sending a message that there's much work to be done. Your generation knows all too well that those old fault lines of fear, racism and discrimination based on the color of your skin weren't erased by a civil war or the passing of a civil rights act and certainly not the election of a black president. Reporter: And their podcast series the former president and the rock star legend also discuss fatherhood, marriage, of course, some musical tunes including their favorite protest songs. Dan? Elwyn, thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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