Fresh from his announcement of nominating the first openly gay US Army secretary, President Obama presented a speech fully dedicated to Black women at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner on Saturday night (Sept. 19).
“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.
During his speech, Obama touched shined a light on the adversities of Black women and just how much of a role they played a major role in shaping American democracy.
Characterizing the women of the civil rights movement as “thinkers and the doers,” he explained:
“Women were the foot soldiers. Women strategized boycotts. Women organized marches,” Obama said in a keynote address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner. “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.”
Obama also spoke out on his focus for “full opportunity and equality” for girls and women of color in America. He specifically made note of the disparities in regards to equal pay for Black women in particular.
“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.”
Click play and watch President Obama’s full speech above.