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16 July 2009 

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President Obama to Address NAACP

16 July 2009

President Barack Obama (file photo)
President Barack Obama (file photo)
U.S. President Barack Obama - the nation's first African-American president - is scheduled to address the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, to mark the civil rights organization's 100th anniversary.

The speech is scheduled for late Thursday at the NAACP convention in New York City. White House aides say the president is expected to discuss the partnership between government and neighborhoods and inspire young people to greater achievement.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs downplayed the significance of the speech, telling reporters Wednesday that Mr. Obama's first speech to black America and white America was his inaugural address.

The NAACP is the oldest U.S civil rights organization. According the organization's Web site, the group was formed in 1909 in response to violence against blacks, which was widespread at the time.

The NAACP says its principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous wrote in an essay for CNN that the group is "energized and emboldened" by Mr. Obama's historic election. He notes that the organization's membership has always included whites, Asians, Latinos and Native Americans, as well as African-Americans. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP

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