WASHINGTON — Members of a Washington, D.C., book club were shocked recently when their virtual meeting discussing Barack Obama’s new memoir was crashed by the former president himself.

What You Need To Know

  • Former President Barack Obama recently crashed a virtual book club meeting discussing his memoir "A Promised Land"

  • Obama was a special guest at the meeting of The MahoganyBooks and Very Smart Brothas Book Club's Jan. 26 meeting

  • The Washington, D.C.-based group had only been told a member of Obama's administration would speak at the meeting

  • Obama fielded questions from the stunned group on a number of topics

Obama was the special guest during the The MahoganyBooks and Very Smart Brothas Book Club’s Jan. 26 meeting.

Members, who had been reading Obama’s book “A Promised Land” had been told a member of his administration would speak at the meeting. Instead, the 44th president suddenly appeared on their screens.

“Hey, everybody,” Obama said, waving. 

Some members’ jaws dropped, while others smiled and laughed. “Wow!” one woman said.

"They had scheduled somebody else, but they couldn’t make it. So I had to fill in," the former president joked.

Obama said he wanted to find a way to support an independent, African American bookstore. MahoganyBooks, the store that sponsors the club, was holding the meeting to discuss Obama’s book in advance of Black History Month. Its in-person meetings have been pushed online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Obama fielded questions from the group about maintaining optimism during trying times ("The trick is to be able to have that kind of long-term perspective but still feel the urgency of now"), dealing with feelings of unpreparedness at the start of one’s career ("Having some patience with yourself is important”) and even wife Michelle’s Inauguration Day fashion ("I don’t know what is about y’all with Michelle and her belts.")

Obama said he looks forward to visiting the bookstore in person soon.