So let’s reflect on his legacy.
— Special K (@aye_itskirsten) January 2, 2017
On Nov. 5, 2008, BET commemorated Obama’s historic achievement with a full day of political coverage.
BET CEO Debra Lee shared a powerful sentiment about his victory in a press release that same day.
“This is the most historic moment in my lifetime, in my children’s lifetimes, in many of our viewers’ lifetimes,” said Lee. “There will be a Black family in the White House, and that’s a testament to and a reflection on those who have fought the good fight before us. It’s a celebration of everyone, everywhere — black, white, brown, male, female, straight, gay — who banded together, made their voices heard, and voted for change. This election and President-Elect Barack Obama have shown me not only the great progress that we’ve made but also have given me hope and inspiration for how much more we can accomplish together. I’m so proud of everything BET Networks has done and is doing to encourage our audience to participate in this political process, and I’m so proud of the impact we’ve had.”
On Oct. 16, 2016, BET premiered a special tribute event to honor President Obama. BET’s Love and Happiness: A Musical Experience was filmed at the White House, and filled with celebrities including Usher and Hamilton actor Leslie Odom Jr., who performed a rap inspired by the Commander-in-Chief.
To promote the tribute and express gratitude towards the POTUS, BET launched its #ThankYouObama social media campaign.
— BET (@BET) January 9, 2017
Now it’s time to say goodbye.
In a BET News article, staff writer Rachel Herron summarized Obama’s achievements and advised readers to have tissues ready when they watch his final speech.
On Jan. 2, the White House press site published Obama’s official statement regarding his farewell address:
“On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person.
I’m just beginning to write my remarks. But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.
Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger. That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding—our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.”
So I hope you’ll join me one last time.
Because, for me, it’s always been about you.
President Barack Obama
Perhaps we should stock up on some tissues.
It’s been the privilege of my life to serve as your President. I look forward to standing with you as a citizen. Happy New Year everybody.
— President Obama (@POTUS) January 1, 2017
Watch President Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 9 p.m., followed by the season premiere of Being Mary Jane at 10 p.m.
Later this month, BET will take a deeper look at President Obama’s legacy. Don’t miss Through the Fire: The Presidency of Barack Obama when it airs on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.