From: Jan, Tracy
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2016 10:50 PM
To: Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO; Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool Report #8
POTUS and FLOTUS attended a special performance at the Kennedy Center on Friday night in celebration of the opening of the National Museum of African American History. The event, titled "Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America," will be broadcast by ABC early next year.
Spotted in the front row of the Eisenhower Theater: Will Smith, Octavia Spencer and John Legend. Rep. John Lewis sat in POTUS's box. As POTUS and FLOTUS walked into their box, one man shouted "Four more years!"
After POTUS entered, pool moved to a holding room replete with white pleather lounge chairs and watched the rest of the show via a closed circuit feed.
Mary J. Blige sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" with a photo backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed "Birth of the Blues." Neo moonwalked and sang a Michael Jackson tribute. Other performers included Usher, blues singer Gary Clark Jr., Fantasia, Christina Aguilera, Gladys Knight and John Legend.
FOTUS and POTUS rocked out to Usher, singing along to "Get on Up," clapping and dancing in their seats.
Tom Hanks introduced seven surviving members of the Tuskegee airmen. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell hugged each one and shook their hands. President Obama stood to salute them.
Motorcade rolling from Kennedy Center back to the White House at 10:41 pm.
Leaving you with Langston Hughes' "I, Too," recited by Common tonight.
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed-
I, too, am America
-Langston Hughes, 1926
THE BOSTON GLOBE, Washington Bureau