President Obama bluntly addresses race relations in farewell speech

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President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address to the nation on Tuesday night, and throughout the emotional speech he bluntly examined the state of race relations in the country following his presidency.

Obama admitted that while he feels progress has been made, race still remains a "potent and often divisive force in our society."

"I've lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10 or 20 or 30 years ago regardless of what some people say," said Obama. "But we're not where we need to be and all of us have more work to do."

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President Obama's final farewell address
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President Obama's final farewell address

U.S. President Barack Obama wipes away tears as he delivers his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Barack Obama is joined onstage by Vice President Joe Biden after his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle as Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill look on after the President delivered a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

US President Barack Obama gestures before speaking during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US first lady Michelle Obama holds her daughter Malia as US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama arrives for his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.

(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L-R), his wife Jill Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and her daughter Malia Obama stand for the national anthem before President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Supporters listen as US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia, and US President Barack Obama hug after the President delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Supporters attend President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. / AFP / Joshua LOTT (Photo credit should read JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden points at a photographer before a farewell address by President Barack Obama, not pictured, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Obama blasted 'zero-sum' politics as he drew a sharp contrast with his successor in his farewell address Tuesday night, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.

(Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Supporters attend President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama is joined by Michelle and Malia after his farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.

(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

Music artist Eddie Vedder preforms before US President Barack Obama gives his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden wait for President Barack Obama to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 10: President Barack Obama delivers a farewell speech to the nation on January 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in the as the 45th president on January 20. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

US First Lady Michelle Obama hugs daughter Malia after US President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters attend President Barack Obama's farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her daughter Malia embrace as President Barack Obama praises them during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Guests listens as President Barack Obama delivers a farewell speech to the nation on January 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in the as the 45th president on January 20.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, US civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician waits for US President Barack Obama to give his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chicago Children's Choir perform before the start of the farewell address by U.S. President Barack Obama, not pictured, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Obama will draw an implicit contrast with his successor in his farewell address, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.

(Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, their daughter Malia, Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill acknowledge the crowd after President Obama delivered a farewell address at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

US President Barack Obama speaks during his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election.

(JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama is joined onstage by first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, after his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd as he arrives to deliver his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 10, 2017.

(REUTERS/John Gress)

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Obama stated that in order for the ball to be moved further "hearts must change." And in order for that change to occur, the president encouraged people from divergent backgrounds to empathize with each other, to strive to feel what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes.

The president urged African Americans to tie their "own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American."

Obama also seemed to provide the Democratic party with some advice heading into future elections by pointing out that while white men in America may seem like they "got all the advantage," Obama stated that many have seen their "world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change."

RELATED: Poll - Change in race relations

"So regardless of the station we occupy; we have to try harder; to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own."

Obama continued to press Americans to reach outside their respective bubbles "whether in our neighborhoods or college campuses or places of worship or our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us," and talk to others that disagree and challenge them.

"I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours," Obama said in closing, asking the country to hold fast to the notion that catapulted him to the White House, "Yes we can. Yes we did. Yes we can."

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