July 16th, 2009
07:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama marks NAACP's 100th anniversary

 President Obama will address the NAACP at its annual convention Thursday night.
President Obama will address the NAACP at its annual convention Thursday night.

(CNN) - One hundred years after the birth of the NAACP, the civil rights group welcomed the first African-American president.

President Obama spoke before the annual convention Thursday night in New York, the city where the organization was founded.

"What we celebrate tonight is not simply the journey the NAACP has traveled, but the journey that we, as Americans, have traveled over the past 100 years," Obama told the crowd.

The excitement over Obama was in stark contrast to the reception of former President Bush, who had a strained relationship with the NAACP and declined the group's invitations for five years.

Bush spoke before the NAACP in 2000, during his first run for the presidency, but he did not make another appearance until 2006.

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Filed under: NAACP • President Obama
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Zero.

    No! landing on the moon will be nothing. CNN. Only The Moment. The stupid,CNN Moment. The stupid Black American moment.

    When will you learn.America?? One step for man. One drop in sewage for the future. Barack Obama

    July 16, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. The power be with you

    To those African-Americans complaining that race relations haven't improved since Obama took office: Please, be patient...centuries of bigotry cannot be erased in 6 months.

    July 16, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Obama only creates TAXES

    Strained relationship equals that the NAACP are racist and discriminate against whites.

    July 16, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Zoey, MI

    I love this president. I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job tonight, and I will pray that he is able to live a full life. He has changed a lot of things, but mostly he gives us a sense of hope. The future does not have to look so bleak as the Bush administration painted it.

    July 16, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    For the first time ever, a comment about "you people" will be appreciated!

    July 16, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Enough

    Yeah that's just great!! If there was a organization that supported the advancement of whites.............there would be total outrage. The NAACP should be put out to pasture, the time has come to live in the world RACE free. Everyone claims to want equality, but in reality they are seeking superiority and using the past as an excuse!

    July 16, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. AJ

    Obama needs to stop with the sef aggrandizing public appearances and concentrate on our economic future. The need Obama has for constantly feeding his ego is pitiful. I am a lifelong Democrat who thinks this President is a disaster.

    July 16, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Debby

    Oh please Obama didn't go either with a couple of invitations when he was to busy campaining for himself. Hillary Clinton went though during the primaries. Why doesn't Susan M. get her stories straight instead of blaming Bush all the time.

    July 16, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. GGG

    so what!!!!

    July 16, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  10. Susie

    This guy hasn't helped ANY RACE in ths country. He's only helping HIMSELF. The MOUTH just TALKS and NEVER WALKS!!!!! Big blabbermouth, words but NO ACTIONS!!!

    July 16, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Hmmmm – looks like W went there only to try and get some votes.

    July 16, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. way to go

    I am happy for the NAACP and for Obama

    I do think the nation needed him, more than for the fact that he is a bright man, but also as the first black president

    he is bringing the nation forward in so many ways, and at a natural progression, not with riots etc.

    we live in an exciting time

    July 16, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. Tatianna

    As a resident of Mass., I see real parallels between the rise and fall of our first African American governor Deval Patrick, and the rise and coming fall of the first African American president Obama. The ballot became the race card, both of them had the same campaign guru Axelrod.History in the making, both Patrick and Obama had something going for them that few enjoy in their whole political career: voting against Patrick and Obama would be seen as backward thinking and worse, youre a racist. The next African American who runs for the seats, if they have any hope of winnin will be reps, because memories of those who broke ground before them will be an open wound. Patrick ana Obama will quickly become stereotyped adjectives, and we all know most stereotypes have a basis in truth.

    July 16, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Jon in CA

    So when will Obama be speaking to the NRA??

    July 16, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. annie for Palin

    When will the African/Americans of the USA wakeup and realize this man is half white & half arab/kenyan. He is not a proud African/American as the citizens of this country. He is a marxist and his programs will destroy everyone in this country regardless of race.
    I am sure cnn will never publish this comment even though they know it is true. What is cnn and the rest of the government run networks getting out of not speaking the truth?

    July 16, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. pam Eugene OR

    It has been obvious for many many years that the Republicans do not care about ANY minority group.
    They only care about rich white people. The demographics are rapidly changing in the United States and they want to ignore that. Hannity and Limbaugh are now saying that Martin Luther King was a republican. I about drove off the road when I heard that! These looser think we are so stupid that they can rewrite history and we will believe it. They are so desperate to get back in power they will say anything.

    July 16, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. RealityKing

    "We need a new mind set" -Obama

    i.e. A higher standard of family unity, self respect and self responsiblitity. The same form of republican idealogy that MLK believed in..

    July 16, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Donald Edmond Esq

    I cannot be more disappointed or less surprised. President Obama demonstrates this offensive "hands off" approach to black America after getting the votes and political mileage out of race that he needed to become POTUS, now he ignores the issues plaguing the African American community at a disparate rate and opts for rock star treatment and pandering to other demographics and voting blocs.

    An absolute disgrace. Had Barack Obama been a product of the 1950s he would likely be chastising Rosa Parks for not following established rules. My write in vote for Hillary Clinton last November continues to be vindicated. This African American was never fooled by the media myth of Barack Obama.

    July 16, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    An organization that should not live to be 101. 95% of inequalities between races today are the result of personal choice such as dropping out of school, illegitimate births, and using drugs. 5% is due to racism.

    July 16, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    We don't need a new mindset as much as we need a new president.

    July 16, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. Susan

    Wonderful speech! Bravo, Mr. President!

    July 16, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  22. Al

    One of the most finest speeches I ever heard.

    July 16, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. Scott, Tucson

    And after Obama gets done bankrupting this country with his feel good sociallist porgrams, it would probably be another hundred years before another Black Man is elected president

    July 16, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. johnnie

    President Obama,is covering more ground in 6monts, than (BUSH) did in(8) long years, (BUSH) did not attend any invites from (NAACP) for 5 years, that shows , how the (TRUE FACE ) of the (GOP) really is.President Obama we salute you ,for being a leader of the people,the (NAACP) celebrates it 100 year, with a (NEW PRESIDENT) and (COMMANDER AND CHIEF). Lets look at this day with (HOPE) the PRESIDENT represents all (RACES) for (UNITED STATES)..The (naacp) has been landmark for people from all walks of (LIFE). And we (SHALL OVERCOME AMERICA). WE are the greatest country on EARTH, the (MELTING POT).. President and America you makes PROUD..........

    July 16, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Willy Brown

    Whoopie Home boy

    July 16, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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