July 14th, 2008
03:48 PM ET
10 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. Learn your history.....Washington DC

    These comments are HILARIOUS. The problem is this–many (white) Americans have never had a reason to explore or enter the black community. Up until this election, I'm sure many (white) Americans didn't know half the stuff they know now. Rev. Wright isn't racist!!!! He was just saying things that MANY black pastors have been saying in church sermons for years. I grew up in a Baptist church (with some white members)...your church is like family. You're able to talk about things that you normally wouldn't say in public. It doesn't mean your racist...I'm far from that. Maybe if people took time out to understand the history of the black church, they wouldn't jump to irrational conclusions!

    I think people forget about the hardships that Black Americans faced. I am 24 years old. No I didn't live during the '60's but my mother did. I have heard stories about the mistreatment of blacks first hand. My mother grew up in the deep south during these horrible times. That's not something you get over in one night. These issues are generational. So yes, to me and MANY other blacks in this country, his speeches are milestones!!! What a pleasure to see a black man running for one of the biggest jobs in this country!

    It's so funny that people wanna make comments about him being an Oreo. Last time I checked, his wife was black. Oreo's usually try to stay away from anything that looks like them..LOL!

    And to the comment above that Obama would have never been the democratic nominee if it weren't for white votes. All I gotta say is beware. I am a graduate of an HBCU (Historically Black College and University...for those who don't no anything) and best believe many of these schools are rallying behind him... These schools have a lot of force behind them...

    My last thoughts...to everyone out there who knows nothing of about the African American community, be sure to watch " Black in America"...

    You may learn a few things 🙂

    OBAMA '08

    July 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. Puzzled


    I think Senator Obama has every right to speak out about fatherless homes seeing has his father left him when he was 2, I think he knows a little bit about the subject. On top of that he had to navigate his way in a world that didn't and still doesn't judge one on the content of their character but most often by the color of their skin. I think he knows more than the average and until you have walked a mile in his shoes.....you should be quiet....you might learn something.

    July 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Griff

    The Word, is not: ThePeople... Mr OBama.... Only... Yoti.....Yoti.... Yoti....
    Another Language.... Mr OBamasan... Swahilli.... You know??? Or is your Language: 'Obamahilli????? Yoti... Nataka-Nini O bama....

    July 14, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. LKN

    I hate haters!!! Why is it Obama's fault that people are black, Latino, white or whatever color???? Its time to expose USA for what it is, a nation that pretends to be modern, open,civilized and inclusive but with a National mind set of uncivilized backward sarvages living in caves....No wonder Obama attracts educated young professionals and youth who have no clue what "blue color states-Working Americans, Red color states- Iiterate red necks" divide is all about.

    July 14, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Obama is a tool

    I mean really Barack ... do you have to have a "major speech" every other day? It's pretty annoying and I wish you would stop it. Thanks.

    July 14, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Fay tx

    (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.
    Lisa-– This is a Historicl Moment (first: African-American presidential nominee of a major party )

    MJ--Why are you people so in love in Obama--We made a Choice
    and we don't owe you an explanation!!!

    July 14, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. obama all the way to the white house

    for all of you, obama haters,you can paint him as terrorist,unpatriotic, inexperience,black pather... one thing i know is that the republicans are going down in november 2008.

    obama 08-12 &16

    July 14, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Fred

    To Obamalism. You obviously understand nothing concerning the dynamics of African Americans and how they think of the presidential race or Obama. Never forget that the majority of black people wouldn't vote for Obama at first regardless of his race. But Obama proved time and time again he has what it takes to take a shot at the Presidency. As a person who's thesis is on African American society today, I can personally say that the crowd does not support him, nor will they support his speech on responsibility because it's the hard truth. African American culture has stagnated since the end of the civil rights movement and Obama knows it and Blacks hate hearing the truth. So before you talk about why African Americans think a certain way, do your research because you're wrong and obviously have some sort of resentment built up inside of you.

    To the elitist commentary: To be running to be president, you ARE an elitist by default. -Normal- people don't run for the presidency. And of all the candidates he's the closest to a regular citizen. I really wish people would think before posting comments with no base.

    He is one of the first black people in a long time to tackle on racial issues that still exist in our society. If you don't think they exist, you're probably ignorant, which is fine. But don't attempt to hold an intelligent conversation about race if you know nothing about it.

    July 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Don Colony14Author, Mt Prospect, IL

    Enough of the racism, even if veiled in comments like the questioning of "...whether Obama is focusing enough on the needs of the black community." I don't want a President who focuses on black or white or hispanic or male or female or straight or gay needs. I want a President who does his best to keep the federal government as small as possible and who helps secure liberty and justice for ALL Americans... period. We ALL have the same rights and responsibilities, and the sooner we realize that the better off we'll all be.

    July 14, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. The enlightened one

    Everyone needs to wake up and see what's really going on. It's not a black and white issue, because black or white is not a race. Those words are adjectives, to describe skin color, and a way for people to know who you are status wise in this country. We are all human. That is our race. Look up the definition of "terrororist", and then think about who the real terrorist are. Media coverage is a terroristic act if I ever seen one. They only talk about bad situations to keep people in fear, so that the public will agree to give up their freedoms, because they feel unsafe. Wake up America, our own government is at war with us. They want control of our mind, soul, and our bodies. We have to become souviern entities. If we don't do that, hello concentration camps.

    July 14, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Larry

    I could care less what color he is, or chooses to be referred to as. Doesn't matter one iota to me.

    What does matter? Substance of course. And with Obama, all that repeats in my head is that stupid Wendy's commercial from the 80's. Where's the beef!? I still have yet to meet one Obama supporter who can name 3 (just 3) SIGNIFICANT policy or legislative successes this guy should list on his resume. And I'm not talking about warm and fuzzy speeches!

    July 14, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Listen Up...

    Thank you Mr. Prez. This is a true subject and it must be said. Name one president who could deliver this particular message with any insight into the real problems and attitudes of black people and not come off as racial and insulting? The preachers have been preaching to little effect but the reality 75% of black children are born to single mothers. We all have issues, black people have fundamental issues that have gotten worst over the years. These problems ultimately becomes a problem for us all.

    Maybe some of these folks with absentee dads need to hear it from a responsible black man. I love it!

    July 14, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Sue CA

    Ricky -- Obama never won the nominee to begin with.
    Americans didn't know about him at the beginning of the primary season.--–Oh yes he did and Yes he can win in NOV--–here take this DOLLAR,,,,pay your BILLS!!!!11

    July 14, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Sam

    I had hopes with Obama, until his FISA vote. He showed that his principles are as good as the others in DC. Politics and games. Shamefulllllll

    July 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. Bill

    I can't believe that many Americans actually fell for Obama.

    On second thoughts, i can.

    But it's a terrible, terrible, terrible mistake.

    July 14, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  16. TonyinKentucky

    Why is a Presidential candidate taking heat for giving a speech to the NCAAP?

    Got news for ya McCain will be doing the same.

    Something is terribly wrong with some people. They need to pray about the hate in their heart because they are failing the "what would Jesus do" test big time.

    July 14, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Ed

    African-American??? Come on CNN. This man was born from the egg of a white American woman in a white American womb.

    African-American?? LOL He's not even Black!

    July 14, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Marion

    I'm sure the NAACP will welcome Senator Obama. The country and the world are ready to embrace him.

    Obama 08

    July 14, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. john williams san diego, ca.

    at least the NAACP admits that their agenda is blacks first as they welcome the first half black presumptive presidential candidate.

    July 14, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  20. Marc PDX

    I think everything Obama does will be a first, won't it? He's the first black presidential candidate so everything is a first. In fact, this is pretty much the sole basis of his candidacy: first black candidate. His own supporters have already stated (many times) that experience doesn't matter in this race. Only "change" matters. Even "what kind of change?" doesn't matter. Change for the sake of change. AND THAT'S ALSO A FIRST!


    July 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. Willy

    Helloe I am Obama and I am part black, part white, part olive and anything you pay me to be.

    July 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. kathy in ohio

    would a white, hispanic or any other race be able to address this group and say these things no............we would all be called racist. i am sooooooooooooo sick and tired of everything about this election always about black churches, black men, black women , naacp, i guess the rest of america doesnt matter anymore

    July 14, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  23. Kim

    Watching the Obama speech as I type. Very Good Stuff. Presidential in style and substance.

    July 14, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. Tony in NM


    just listen to the mcCain supporters' comments....

    God help us to do better this time.

    July 14, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. kayla

    to all you obama haters, CHANGE IS GONNA COME.whether you want to or not. obama 08

    July 14, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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