Test How Well You Know Some Of The Most Famous Obama Quotes

The first ever Bartlett's compilation of black quotations goes on sale Nov. 19

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Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

President Barack Obama takes the oath of office during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

For 150 years, publisher Little, Brown and Company has been churning out editions of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, a standard for every American library that’s full of Wilde’s witticisms and pithy psalms. Later this month, that house is publishing a historic take on the brand: the first ever Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations.

The 764-page book is meant to tell a narrative of black experience, primarily through an American lens, from abolitionists to Jay-Z. And that means one of the many daunting tasks that editor Retha Powers faced was deciding how to sum up Obama’s contribution to that narrative in his own words.

Here are some of the quotes that made the cut, after Powers spent seven years sifting and organizing. For those who consider themselves Obama aficionados, we’ve left off information about when and where the quote was said. See if you can match the quote with the right source. Answers are at the bottom, so be careful with your scrolling.

Here are the options:

  • A. Dreams From My Father, 1995
  • B. Interview, TIME Magazine, 2007
  • C. Presidential victory speech, Chicago, 2008
  • D. Nobel lecture, Oslo, 2009
  • E. Remarks at a prayer vigil, Sandy Hook, Conn., 2012
  • F. Second inaugural address, 2013
  • G. Speech on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, 2013

1. “Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.”

2. “One of the things I think I can bring to the presidency is to make government and public service cool again.”

3. “I decided to become a community organizer … Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.”

4. “This is our first task—caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.”

5. “The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.”

6. “The absence of hope can rot a society from within.”

7. “I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you.”

US-VOTE-2012-ELECTION-OBAMA

U.S. President Barack Obama celebrates his reelection in Chicago on Nov. 7, 2012. JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / Getty Images

And the quotations again, with answers:

1. “Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.” — F. Second inaugural address, 2013

2. “One of the things I think I can bring to the presidency is to make government and public service cool again.” — B. Interview, TIME Magazine, 2007

3. “I decided to become a community organizer … Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.” — A. Dreams From My Father, 1995

4. “This is our first task—caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.” — E. Remarks at a prayer vigil, Sandy Hook, Conn., 2012

5. “The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own.” — G. Speech on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, 2013

6. “The absence of hope can rot a society from within.” — D. Nobel lecture, Oslo, 2009

7. “I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you.” — C. Presidential victory speech, Chicago, 2008

2 comments
reallife
reallife

How about "If you like your health plan you can keep it. Period."

Is that quote included?


Openminded1
Openminded1

@reallife No that one was left out, he lies so much it is hard to keep up with him.