Obama surprises CPS students on Zoom conference, offers them free copies of his latest memoir

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Former President Barack Obama on Monday surprised several students in the Chicago Public Schools, praising them for persevering during the pandemic and inviting them to read his new best-selling autobiography, A Promised Land, for free.

The 45th president was a surprise guest on a Zoom conference hosted by CPS CEO Janice Jackson. Some of the students beamed when Obama appeared on the screen.

All CPS students will have free access to digital or audio copies of Obama’s new book, which covers his first term in office, under an arrangement with publisher Random House. They can redeem their copies by the end of the school year.

“Now, some of you have homework, and you’ve got to do your homework first,” Obama said, with a smile.

Obama, who lived in Chicago as a community organizer and state legislator, said he hopes young people will be interested in his presidential memoir, which he concedes is kind of long and detailed. He wish them and their families a happy holiday season.

“2021 is going to be a better year than 2020,” Obama said.