Marcus Rashford and Barack Obama call for the first time

“A lot of the young people I meet – including Marcus – they’re ahead of where I was when I was 23. They’re already making changes and being positive forces in their communicates’ – Barack Obama on Marcus Rashford.

Former President of the United States Barack Obama and Marcus Rashford have met for the first time, through a Zoom call organised by Penguin Books.

The two men discussed the themes in Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, including the power that young people have to make change and giving back to the local community.

They also talked about shared experiences – being raised by single months and their love for reading books. The conversation will be available on YouTube and as a Penguin podcast at 2pm on Friday, 28 May.

Marcus Rashford said: “I mean, it’s quite surreal isn’t it? I’m sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama. But, immediately, he made me feel at ease. It wasn’t long before I realise just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today – adversity, obstacles and all. I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen.”

Obama was the 44th President of the United States the first black man to hold that office. He’s also the author of two previous New York Times bestselling books, Dreams for My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and the recipient of the 2009 Noble Peace Prize.

Last year, Obama published the first volume of his presidential memoirs, A Promised Land – published by Viking, and it was a bestseller around the world.

Their conversation was hosted by June Sarpong OBE, who has enjoyed a 20-year career, in which she has become one of the most recognisable faces of British TV.

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