The talk was part of Obama's My Brother’s Keeper initiative - an education and mentoring scheme for young men of colour in America.

At a conference in Oakland, the former President introduced himself as "Michelle's husband" in his conversation with NBA star Steph Curry (aka "Ayesha's husband). The pair spoke about the need to redefine masculine stereotypes that emphasised aggression and stoicism in order to gain respect.

“All of us have to recognise that being a man is first and foremost being a good human,” the former President said. “That means being responsible, working hard, being kind, respectful, compassionate.

“If you’re confident about your strength, you don’t need to show me by putting somebody else down. Show me by lifting somebody else up.”

President Obama also talked about how racism impacted the self-esteem of men of colour. 

“Racism historically in this society sends a message that you are ‘less than,’” he said. “We feel we have to compensate by exaggerating stereotypical ways men are supposed to act. And that’s a trap.”

According to The Independent, Obama spoke of the “violence and pain” communities suffer comes from men “seeking respect”, including through gun violence and knife crime, calling it “a self-defeating model for being a man.”

He also critiqued male bravado asserted through pop culture through overt displays of wealth and the sexualisation of women.

“Ironically, that shows the vulnerability you feel,” Obama said.

“If you were very confident about your sexuality, you don’t have to have eight women around you twerking… you seem stressed that you gotta be acting that way."

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