Blog Posts Related to the African American Community

  • 50 Years in the Making: The President and First Lady Reflect on Their Trip to Selma

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    Last week, the First Family traveled to Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the marches from Selma to Montgomery. They honored the men, women, and children who marched that route in 1965, to help ensure the most fundamental right that we have as Americans isn’t obstructed or denied to anyone because of their race or where they live. The right to vote is at the core of our democracy, and this weekend in Selma served as a reminder to us all what was sacrificed to earn us this hallowed responsibility.  

    Amidst Saturday’s events, the President and First Lady took a moment to reflect on their experience in Selma -- walking the bridge, addressing that emotional crowd on such a historic day, visiting the National Voting Rights Museum, and most importantly, greeting some of the surviving foot soldiers who bravely risked everything on that Bloody Sunday 50 years ago, and who walked alongside the President of the United States and his family along that same route this past weekend.

    Take a moment to reflect with the President and First Lady. Watch their video above, share it with your family and friends, and think through the causes that will move you to #MarchOn for the betterment of your community and our country.

  • President Obama Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Marches from Selma to Montgomery

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    Yesterday, President Obama and the First Family joined thousands of Americans at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to honor the sacrifice and bravery of the men and women who bled there, on that very pavement exactly 50 years ago. Many of those original "foot soldiers" joined him yesterday, including Congressman John Lewis, who helped to organize the first march over this bridge in 1965, who endured a tragic beating on that "Bloody Sunday," and who yesterday strode arm in arm with the President of the United States.

    It was a day filled with electricity, inspiration, tales of heartache and courage, and the true story of how a handful of ordinary Americans helped to change the course of history with their grace, their peaceful action, and their bold belief in the true spirit of this country.

  • Selma to Montgomery: 50 Years Later

    Selma marches

    Fifty years ago, in March of 1965, thousands of Americans marched from Selma, Alabama to the capital city of Montgomery. They marched to ensure that African Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote -- even in the face of a segregationist system that wanted to make it impossible.

    Many of them were beaten, bloodied, and knocked unconscious at the hands of state troopers and county members. But they kept marching.

    Because of their efforts, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act just a few months later. The Voting Rights Act was designed to eliminate legal barriers at the state and local level that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote -- after nearly a century of unconstitutional discrimination.

    To mark the 50th anniversary of the marches, the First Family will travel to Selma tomorrow, with President Obama delivering remarks on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Tune in tomorrow afternoon to watch the President's remarks live at WhiteHouse.gov/Selma -- a new interactive page that also features additional content related to the marches.

  • Honoring the African American Experience: The White House Celebrates Black History Month

    President Obama, with First Lady Michelle Obama, delivers remarks during a reception celebrating Black History Month

    President Barack Obama, with First Lady Michelle Obama, delivers remarks during a reception celebrating Black History Month in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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    In 1926, the great historian and author Carter G. Woodson pioneered "Negro History Week" — a time set aside to honor African Americans and their contributions to our history.

    "If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition," Woodson once wrote. "It becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."

    That week would later become Black History Month — and this year, the White House hosted a number of events and activities to celebrate the contributions and the accomplishments of African Americans both past and present.

  • What 21st Century Policing Means

    President Obama speaks to the press after a meeting with members of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing

    President Barack Obama speaks to the press after a meeting with members of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Earlier today, President Obama met with the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to discuss their recommendations to help communities and law enforcement agencies across the country to strengthen trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime.

    The Task Force was announced in December, and has been co-chaired by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. Joining them on the Task Force is a diverse array of experts from the law enforcement community, academia, youth activists, as well as community and civil rights leaders. Their recommendations for helping to keep police officers and neighborhoods safe were released today, as called for by the Executive Order that established the Task Force.

  • Celebrating Black History Month Across the Cabinet

    Throughout February, a number of Departments and Cabinet Secretaries held special events and participated in activities to commemorate Black History Month. Take a look at a few of the highlights below.


    Secretary Perez sat down with Rep. John Lewis to talk about the Civil Rights Movement.

    Last Friday, Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Rep. John Lewis sat down for an in-depth conversation and Q&A about the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the Department of Labor’s role in the movement.

    Watch some of the highlights of the conversation below -- or listen to the full conversation here.

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