"Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society," U.S. President Barack Obama said in his farewell speech to the nation on Tuesday (January 10) night in Chicago.
"Social attitudes often take generations to change but if our democracy is to work the way it should in this increasingly diverse nation, then each one of us need to heed the advice of a great character in American fiction, Atticus Finch," Obama said, referring one of the major characters in the American class, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by the late Harper Lee, "who said you never really understand a person until you consider them from his point of view, until you climb in his skin and walk around in it."
He encouraged supporters demoralized by the election of Republican Donald Trump to feel optimistic about the country's future.
The Democratic president is feeling some nostalgia as he prepares to leave the White House on Jan. 20 after eight years in office. His top policy achievements were jolted by the Nov. 8 election of Trump, who has threatened to undo Obama's actions on issues ranging from advancing healthcare reform to curbing climate change.
First lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and many current and former White House staff members and campaign workers were in attendance.