Courtesy of C-SPAN

The first black president was the featured speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner on Sat. It’s still special — that connection. He went from being the 1st black Senator in a long while as a CBC member to the White House. This speech was a good one. It delved into the history and purpose of the CBC’s creation and then to a sort of State of the Union Address for black folk. CBC Phoenix Award winners this year included Harry Belafonte & Sheila Oliver.

It’s a good speech. I highly recommend it since it’s not often that Barack Obama addresses not just justice but “just us”, naw mean? It’s about 28 min so you can play and listen in the background.

Description: President Obama spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Phoenix Awards dinner. It is held each year as part of the foundation’s annual legislative conference to honor African-Americans who had made significant contributions to society. IN his remarks he emphasized the significance of the Black vote and urged voters to participate in the 2010 midterm elections.

Here’s a section I liked (partial transcript):

That is why the CBC was formed, to right wrongs, to be a conscience, and at the very first CBC dinner, the great actor and activist Ossie Davis told the audience America was at the crossroads, and although his speech was magnificent and eloquent, he boiled his message down to a nice little phrase when it came to help america would move forward. He said: it is not demand, it is the plan. It is not the man, it is the plan. That was true 40 years ago. It is true today. [cheers and applause] we all understood that during my campaign. It was not just about electing a black president. It was about a plan to restore a new foundation for our economy and rebuild it on a [applause]. Statistics just came out this week. From 2001 to 2009, the middle class went down 5%. Think about that. People’s incomes during the period when the economy was growing went down 5%. That is what our agenda was about, making sure we were changing that pattern. It was about giving every hardworking American the chance to join a growing and vibrant middle class and giving the middle class ladders and steps to success. It was about putting the American dream within the reach of all Americans, not just us, no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, everybody’s American dream…

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