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Jesse Williams Narrates The Obama Years

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PRESIDENT OBAMA’S LEGACY AND DEFINING MOMENTS ARE REVEALED IN THE OBAMA YEARS:

THE POWER OF WORDS SPECIAL NARRATED BY ACTOR AND PRODUCER

PREMIERES MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27 AT 8 PM ET/PT ON ™ Featuring Valerie Jarrett, Rep. John Lewis, David Axelrod, Douglas Brinkley, Doris Kearns Goodwin and speechwriters Jon Favreau and Cody Keenan

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 19: U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he signs the official guest book at Bellevue Palace on June 19, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. U.S. President Barack Obama is visiting Berlin for the first time during his presidency and his speech at the Brandenburg Gate is to be the highlight. Obama will be speaking close to the 50th anniversary of the historic speech by then U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Berlin in 1963. (Photo by Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images)

New York, January 12, 2017 – Over eight years, President Obama delivered more than 3,500 speeches and statements – officially ending his era with a farewell address on Tuesday in Chicago. His speeches ranged from redefining patriotism, candidly addressing race relations, inspiring hope and healing, and turning divisive moments into an opportunity for national unification. But which are the moments that history will remember? A new hour-long Smithsonian Channel special tells the story of Barack Obama, “writer in chief,” and takes viewers inside the defining moments of his political career through the prism of his most memorable speeches.

THE OBAMA YEARS: THE POWER OF WORDS, narrated by actor and producer Jesse Williams, premieres on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. “Someday there will be the collected speeches of Barack Obama,” the historian Douglas Brinkley says in the film, “and I think they’ll tell us more about our hopes, dreams, aspirations and dark realities than any other document to represent that era.” THE OBAMA YEARS: THE POWER OF WORDS examines how President Obama used “the bully pulpit” by looking at six benchmark speeches – as a brash young state senator and as a president grappling with turbulent times in the face of chaotic events. Some were the result of careful planning and intensive writing; others were written under extraordinary pressure, often with Obama doing much of the writing, in the wake of unexpected events. When tragedy strikes, the President has a tremendous responsibility to comfort the nation. For each highlighted speech, THE OBAMA YEARS: THE POWER OF WORDS gives viewers behind-the-scenes stories of the President and his process, how he and his core group worked to develop the messages, expert commentary comparing the speeches to those of other presidents, and analysis of the power – and limits – of the bully pulpit to shape events.

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