July 14th, 2008
03:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama's NAACP speech to mark historic milestone

Obama will address the NAACP Monday night.
Obama will address the NAACP Monday night.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama's speech Monday night to the NAACP will mark a historic first: an African-American presidential nominee of a major party will be addressing the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

The speech by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in Cincinnati will also highlight a new generation of black leadership forged not in the civil rights battles of '60s and '70s, but during subsequent decades in which many African-Americans made great strides culturally, politically and economically, but many more remained economically disadvantaged.

Watch: Obama talks about personal responsibility

Obama himself - the son of a black father and a white mother - has acknowledged that his candidacy is in large part due to the struggles of previous generations of black leaders. But he has avoided being labeled an African-American candidate, saying he wants to appeal to all racial and ethnic groups. That has led some to question whether Obama is focusing enough on the needs of the black community.

The generational divide was in full display last week when the Rev. Jesse Jackson, an African-American leader who has long held a place on the American political stage, expressed his frustration with Obama in a comment after an interview on Fox News.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. carlo

    When did the ability to give a great speech a liability when running for President? When your opponents aren't capable of giving one. The man is extremely intelligent. Just because McCain can't see the teleprompter or remember the words on it long enough to look away from it doesn't mean that Obama should never give a speech. Why is it that Americans are so afraid of voting for a President with a brain? Haven't we had enough of idiotic Presidents? Any man who thinks that Chekoslyvakia is still a country is actually getting 41% of the vote? Hilarious.

    July 14, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Mike from Westchester

    Elisabeth July 14th, 2008 5:13 pm ET

    This will not be a "historic milestone". Mentally Barack Obama is very "white". Sometimes he seems to make a distance between himself and the black community.
    _____________________________________________
    I guess I need to be educated on the difference between being "mentally white" and "mentally black". It seems to me that the vast majority of people not only in the U.S., but throughout the world, really want the same things – good, safe living conditions and a better future for their children. These things are not black, white, yellow or brown; or Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist. They are human desires. The differences in attitudes we see are primarily the result of differing living experiences and levels of opportunity. Therefore, they are socio-economic in nature, not due to race or religion.

    The fact that Obama gets this is yet another reason to vote for him.

    July 14, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Lindy

    Obama has a tendency to "talk down" to all of us. His comments about the Pennsylvanians who "cling to their guns and religion" in hard economic times, his insistence that the media and the public "haven't been listening carefully" when confronted with the observation that he is changing his stand on major issues, and his statement that Republicans can't get past his "funny-sounding name and his race" – along with his plan to speak in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Germany. Mmmm – this guy definitely is either very arrogant or ignorant – or just full of huzpah!

    July 14, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Ricky

    What does Obama think he is with the speeches.
    Do a debate or town hall meeting for a change.
    He preaches too much.

    July 14, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Lisa

    I'm tired of hearing Barack's speeches Obama supporter from Fl. I tired of hearing his lies. You tell Obama the only way I want to here from him is when he's debating Mccain!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Marie

    Fearless Leader.

    July 14, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. Vig

    Obama and his "MAJOR" speeches – give me a break. As I have repeatedly stated – Mr. Obama is given to lecturing – let's just call it what it is – a lecture. He likes to lecture everybody on everything while performing acrobatic flip-flops. Obama is turning out to be nothing more than a media fabricated candidate and a farce.

    July 14, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Michael-NYC

    why is it everything Obama does is historic? come on people- let's not add to his already HUGE EGO!

    July 14, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. ginger

    OSONDU,

    I hope you are right.

    Obama 08!

    July 14, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. people say No to McCain

    RB TX July 14th, 2008 4:57 pm ET

    Obama, I am a new fan of the New Yorker.

    Vote for MCain who has the interests of all Americans in mind instead of Obama and his Black Theology rhetoric.

    Go McCain
    ___________________________________________________-
    sweetie...do some research on McCain, the only Americans he has in mind are the rich ones...59 lobbyist run his camp, millions of dollars from big oil...
    and by God, try to be MORE than a sound bite groupie, Google Dr. Rev. Wright and learn something about the man...find out what the demographic and ideology of the church is before spewing your hatred. otherwise IF you want to vote for a lying cheating man who flip flops all over and was involved in the deaths of 167 men July 29, 1967. who wants to KILL PEOPLE cut the taxes of the wealthy only and keep the US at war for 100 more years....well then pumpkin you just go a head and vote for Mccain...and in 4 years don't say a thing while you loose your shirt, flip pin and all

    July 14, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. dave from pa

    You know, maybe I'm crazy but, I thought in this day and age people would wake up and not "judge a person by the color of his/ her skin but the content of his/her character". It's sad to see so many haters in this country. Here is a person who is intelligent, thoughtful, and appears to really care about this country, the direction it is headed, and how to "change course", and all you silly people can squak about is the mans race or if he's "bi-racial" or not. None of us is "pure blood"; just check your history and geneology. I really don't care who you vote for; just vote and stand by your convictions. Just stop trying to tear a person down so that you can feel superior!

    July 14, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. DEMOCRAT FOR MCCAIN

    who cares

    who cares

    who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 14, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Peter (CA)

    Beleive me, Obama has no fear of debating McCain. McCain is such a poor public speaker and has so much trouble thinking on his feet that all he will garner is pity.

    McCain does not want DEBATES. He wants TOWN HALLS. You know, like the ones where Bush's people hand pick the "average Americans" and feed them questions.

    If McCain is ready to be President, let him come out and debate.

    July 14, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Willow, from Iowa

    I am a 56 year old white woman from Iowa. I do not want a President that caters to any special interest, or any ethnocentric group. I want a President for all the people. I will vote for Obama because he has hope and optimism about what we can do as a group. He is a uniter, not a divider. We need someone that takes care of everyone in our country.

    July 14, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. Joe Bloggs, Haiku, HI

    Two poionts:

    1. If any of you right-wing dittoheads ever actually LISTENED to a fullspeech by Obama instead of the distorted lies of the likes of RUsh Limbaugh, Sean Hannity et al, you might actually learn that his positions are consitent and in line with the interestes of most Americans.
    2. Be careful waht you swish for. AS soon as Obama steps on the same stage with McCain, some of you will be shocked at waht a doddering buffon McCain is when he actually has to fend for himself.

    July 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Mir

    What kind of a dumb story is this? Barack is the first African American presumptive nominee in the history of the U.S., so obviously it's the first time "an African-American presidential nominee of a major party will be addressing the nation's oldest civil rights organization." DUH.

    July 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    FOR ALL MCCAIN SUPPORTERS, I WOULD LIKE SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

    HOW WILL WE PAY THE $10 TRILLION WE OWE TO SAUDI ARABIA, DUBAI AND CHINA?

    HOW WILL WE CONTINUE TO AFFORD THE $1.38 BILLION THE WAR IN IRAQ COSTS PER DAY?

    HOW WILL WE CONTINUE TO SPEND $650 BILLION A YEAR WHEN MCCAIN WANTS TO GIVE EVERYONE A TAX BREAK?

    GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

    July 14, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. Nikole

    People, please stop calling for debates! Especially McCain supporter, because Obama is going to eat McCain alive in a debate. Obama and McCain have already acknowledged that they will debate. It is July, there is plenty of time for that.

    July 14, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. John G

    Let him talk since he likes to do it so much and he doesn't have any other tricks up his sleeve.

    Let him deliver his empty speeches to his friendly audiences.

    Let him continue to avoid direct one on one debate where his lapdogs in the media can't favor him over his opponents

    Let him win in a landslide since all he will be able to do after that is lead us down a slippery slope directly to hell.

    Let the man talk. It's the only thing he's good at.

    McCain 2008/2012

    July 14, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. Joe the Troll

    Sharon- Obama said plenty about the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan just yesterday, and it was reported here. I guess you took the weekend off, like McCain.

    July 14, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. OBAMA Supporter all the way

    I think Obama should challenge McCain to do a speech in front of 75,000 thousand people and keep them interested – forget mesmerized!

    Come on McCain challenge Obama to a speech where you can reach even more people. Instead of these small town halls. Obama's doing both! You have yet to make a speech anyone can stay awake for.

    July 14, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. Cynthia

    I'm sure it will be a great speech with something included for everyone who will take the time to really listen – hope that it is televised. All of you having a hang dang about when is he going to stop making speeches and debate Senator McCain – be careful what you ask for.

    July 14, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Lisa in Ga.

    I feel sorry for all the people who vote McCain...

    I won't laugh at you all when Obama slides into the WhiteHouse!

    July 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. YES WE WILL!

    McCain was not even born in the US!!

    He'll also need diapers in his 1st term!!!

    Time for grampa to take a nap! No McLies

    July 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. Janet WV for Obama

    Lisa should know! It takes a clown to call someone else one.

    July 14, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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