President Obama’s Congressional Black Caucus Speech Was All About The Ladies

President Obama’s speech at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner on Saturday night (Sept. 19) was specifically dedicated to black women. Taking a stance to promote “full opportunity and equality” for women and girls of color in America, the commander-in-chief addressed disparities in society with regard to recognition, stereotypes and equal pay for black women, noting that the issue hits home for him because of his wife and two daughters.

“I’m focusing on women tonight, because I want them to know how much we appreciate them, how much we admire them, how much we love them,” he said.

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Paying homage to the lesser-celebrated women of the Civil Rights movement, Obama noted that the strides made during those pivotal times would not have been possible without them. Acknowledging that they were often not documented as the leaders on paper, he called the women of the movement the “thinkers and doers.”

“Women were the foot soldiers. Women strategized boycotts. Women organized marches,” Obama said. “Even if they weren’t allowed to run the civil rights organizations on paper, behind the scenes they were the thinkers and the doers making things happen each and every day, doing the work that no one else wanted to do.”

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Reiterating first lady Michelle Obama’s often-shared stories of being discouraged for reaching her very best potential in academically and professionally, Obama also addressed the “pressures” young black girls face. As women of color continue to excel in universities and professional sectors, Obama also called attention to the fact that they are paid less than white men on average.

“It is an affront to the very idea of America when certain segments of our population don’t have access to the same opportunities as everybody else,” he said. “It makes a mockery of our economy when black women make thirty fewer cents for every dollar a white man earns.”

Watch President Obama rep for the ladies in his Congressional Black Caucus keynote below: