As the inauguration approaches, great minds all over the country are reflecting on the last eight years with the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece for The Atlantic and deep dives on-screen from Netflix and National Geographic have given Americans the opportunity to look back on Obama’s legacy.

Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett Price joined BPR to talk about what Obama accomplished in office, as well as where he fell short.

Both of the Reverends discussed the president’s complicated relationship to race relations in the U.S.

As the first black man to serve the nation’s highest office, he was under enormous pressure to improve racial tension. Critics say he didn’t do enough to facilitate big conversations about race, while others say he did the best he could under the circumstances.

Reverend Monroe said Obama made a point of serving the entire nation, not just black Americans.

“He’s gotten a lot of pushback, or I should say criticism, from the African American community, because they wanted him, in some way, to be a composite of King and Frederick Douglass and Malcolm, but he wasn’t those folks,” she said. “When he said, ‘I am president of all the people, not just one particular demographic group,’ he struggled with doing that, and with... speaking for all of us.”

Reverend Price agreed, saying despite struggles, Obama’s organized approach to governing will be praised in the future.

“I think that he will go down in history as one of our great presidents,” he said. “Clearly someone who was focused, who was really intentional about dealing with race even though he didn’t do it the way that many people [would] like for him to do it.”

Reverend Monroe noted his accomplishments in the face of a congress that frequently disagreed with him.

“Given the fact that he had an obstructionist congress, he really did set a kind of model of what it is to be a president for all the folks,” said Monroe.

The congress’ oppositions to Obama’s supreme court nomination and the Affordable Care Act represented pure partisan politics to many of the president’s supporters.

Reverend Price pointed out that when examining the mark Obama will leave on the world, Americans should put his accomplishments in context.

“We look at a president almost as a superhero, and the reality is the president and the seat that he or she sits in is part of three branches,” he said. “You can’t change the world over one day.”

Reverend Irene Monroe is a syndicated columnist for The Huffington Post and Bay Windows, and Reverend Emmett Price is a Professor of Worship, Church & Culture and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. To hear All Revved Up in its entirety, click on the audio link above