“They had a very clear sense of what was right and what was wrong and [of] their own agency and the power of their voice and the need to participate,” Obama, author of “A Promised Land,” told PEOPLE. “Malia and Sasha found their own ways to get involved with the demonstrations and activism that you saw with young people this summer, without any prompting from Michelle and myself, on their own initiative.”
While Obama says he and his wife, Michelle Obama, were there to offer advice when asked — the young women mostly used their initiative when it came to figuring out how to support the cause. “I think a couple of times they asked for sort of very specific suggestions about what would be the best way to communicate X or what would be the most useful thing that, if we were mobilizing a whole bunch of friends, to have an impact, what should we be doing,” Obama said. “But, they didn’t need to be encouraged.”
Protests were sparked across the country earlier this year following the shocking police killing of unarmed Black man, George Floyd. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor were also catalysts for the nation, calling for drastic changes in police policy as well as social justice reform.