Michelle Obama has spoken about how she experienced racial prejudice even as First Lady.
According to the wife of the US president, she went to a Target store and a fellow shopper asked her to get something from the shelf.
The first couple spoke about their experiences with racism amid protests over the deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.
The president says he has been treated as a valet in the past because he is black.
He told People magazine black professional men of his age still experience racial prejudice.
“There’s no black male my age who’s a professional who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” he said in an interview.
Michelle Obama said her husband also used to have trouble catching taxis and was once mistaken as a waiter at a dinner.
She said he was “wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee”.
Mr Obama also noted the indignities he and his wife had encountered were nothing compared with those faced by others.
“It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala,” he said.
“It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”
Mr Obama said the indignities he and his wife had encountered were nothing compared with those faced by others.