Barack Obama has shared his favorite books, movies, and music in his post-presidential tradition, and each of his recently shared “Best of 2022” lists relate to Alabama in a remarkable way.
“South to America” Imani Perry (Book)
his favorite book of 2022 Includes “To South America: A Journey to Understanding the Soul of a Nation Under Mason Dixon” by Imani Perry. A native of Birmingham, Perry is a professor at Princeton University and a contributor to The Atlantic among his other activities. Her latest book is her study of the complex ways in which the South influences and can influence a nation’s culture. (Additionally, there’s the Alabama connection in the title, and the traveling meditation composition is the tip of the hat in Albert Murray’s From the South to a Very Old Place.) In Perry’s native Birmingham, the book is her became a topic of discussion for one year. A reading and discussion program hosted by PEN America.
Obama admitted to being biased when including ‘Descendants’ his favorite movies of 2022, because his Higher Ground production company was involved in distributing the documentary. Prejudice or not, he’s got a solid footing. A mobile African town founded by survivors of the slave ship Clotilda, a survey of his community recently shortlisted his 15 films for Best Documentary Oscar nomination. The five nominees will be announced on January 24th.
“Problem with It”, Plains (music)
in music, Obama rated Plains’ song “Problem With It” alongside songs by Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, SZA, Lizzo, and others. Plains is a duo, half Birmingham native Katie Crutchfield, whose solo project, Waxahatchie, has received media attention, including Rolling Stone and Spin. On Plains, she’s partnered with Jess Williamson. “Problem with It” is a track from their album I Walked With You A Ways. This is a sharp interpretation of a relationship where everything was not enough. There is a problem with that. ’ It’s probably fair that we feel that way about 2022.
This isn’t the first time Alabama has contributed to the former president’s listening, watching and reading highlights. A few examples: Bryan Stevenson’s memoir-based film Just Mercy was one of his favorite movies of 2019. His favorite films of 2020 included “Ma He Rainey’s Black His Bottom,” an adaptation of Auguste Wilson’s play about Alabama’s blues legends. His Summer 2020 playlist included tracks from Jason Isbell and Chika.
Read each of Obama’s 2022 lists below.