Former President Barack Obama talks race, resilience and hope for Juneteenth

In a new “Soul of a Nation” special on ABC News, Obama sat down with “GMA’s” Michael Strahan ahead of Juneteenth to talk about its significance while looking toward the future.
4:41 | 06/18/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Former President Barack Obama talks race, resilience and hope for Juneteenth
Now to Michael's one on one with former president Barack Obama talking about race, resilience and finding hope again. It's part of about's juneteenth special. Tke a look. President Obama, happy juneteenth. It is good to see you. Happy juneteenth to you. Thank you. I remember being in school and they had all the presidents. They had every president up there. You would look at that list and you would say I want to be president. I don't think you could believe it. Right. Now, when they look at that, your face is up there. A lot of people will look and say it signifies since you've been elected president that we moved on from the issue of race. What do you say to that? That's never been the case that by virtue of my election we entered into a post racial world. It wasn't something I believed at the time. I certainly don't believe it now. A lot of barriers exist for a whole lot of folks. When you look at that list of presidents, we still haven't seen a woman. The notion that women somehow are not qualified -- you know, the fact is at least in my household the women are smarter, more insightful, more caring, better looking, talented, funnier. Do we live in the same household? That's my point. Something is happening in our society that prevents that from ascending to the highest office in the land. The same is true for African-Americans and Latinos, native Americans. The odds are stacked in ways that prevent a lot of young people from realizing their potential. We can do something about it. In the promised land you talk about hope. The country is built on hope. Pioneers, abolitionists, civil rights workers. You ran on hope. We are choosing hope over fear. We're sending a powerful message that change is coming to America. We're now in 2021. We have the pandemic, the insurrection, racial reckoning. A lot of people feel like they lost hope. How can people get that hope You get hope back for me at least taking the long view and recognizing that resilience, determination, the ability to deal with setbacks and disappointments and keep going. Those are qualities that can carry forward. No one has exhibited that more historically in this country than African-Americans. The March on Washington happened during my lifetime. That's not ancient history. In big parts of the country segregation was still operative when I was alive. What seems like stuff we now take for granted, that's just a generation old. There's so many people out there -- the idea of the American dream they can't see it anymore. What is it going to take for people to realize the American dream? Historically the American dream has been a reality for some and a myth for others. We're in a community anacostia in Washington, D.C. That's representative of a lot of cities in the country. The kids who grow up here may formally be free, but it requires so much more effort for them to live out that American dream. So, our job is to make sure that it's not a myth. Right now for too many it still is. I'm Michael Strahan in Washington, D.C. Our thanks to Michael for that. Juneteenth, together we triumph special event prepares tonight at 9:00 eastern on ABC. At 3:00 P.M. Eastern you can join ABC's clubhouse conversation as we celebrate juneteenth. We're going to switch gears and go to Lara for "Pop news."

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

{"duration":"4:41","description":"In a new “Soul of a Nation” special on ABC News, Obama sat down with “GMA’s” Michael Strahan ahead of Juneteenth to talk about its significance while looking toward the future.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"78354092","title":"Former President Barack Obama talks race, resilience and hope for Juneteenth","url":"/GMA/Culture/video/president-barack-obama-talks-race-resilience-hope-juneteenth-78354092"}