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President Obama Celebrates Memphis Soul

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Last night, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle brought “Memphis Soul” to the White House for a taped special airing as part of their “In Performance at the White House” series.

Barry O opened the evening with remarks about how Memphis Soul helped to create a sense of racial harmony during one of the most racially tense periods in the nation:

“Memphis, Tennessee, was segregated in the 1960s, but blacks and whites came together despite the institutional racism to create a soulful blend of gospel and rhythmic blues music that sought to ‘bridge those divides, to create a little harmony with harmony.”

Check out the speech:

Queen Latifah, Justin Timberlake and American Idol finalist Joshua Ledet helped the Obama celebrate throughout the night with respective performances.

The Memphis Soul broadcast will be aired on April 16 at 8 p.m on PBS.