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President Obama sang praises to the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights group last night. He spoke to members of the NAACP Thursday at their centennial conference celebrating 100 years of service. He opened by citing the group’s charter saying that there was a need to “eradicate prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination against citizens of the United States”. He continued, adding that while strives were made since the civil rights movement, there were new barriers to face.

“They’re very different from the barriers faced by earlier generations. They’re very different from the ones faced when fire hoses and dogs were being turned on young marchers but what’s required to overcome today’s barriers is the same as what was needed then. The same commitment. The same sense of urgency.”

He also reminded the youth in attendance that “your destiny is in your hands” and stressed the importance of an education.

“We’ve got to say to our children, yes, if you’re African American, the odds of growing up amid crime and gangs are higher. Yes, if you live in a poor neighborhood, you will face challenges that someone in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. That’s not a reason to get bad grades, that’s not a reason to cut class, that’s not a reason to give up on your education and drop out of school. No one has written your destiny for you. Your destiny is in your hands, and don’t you forget that.”

He continued saying that he hoped the youth would strive to be more than rappers and basketball players.

“They might think that they’ve got a pretty good jump shot or a pretty good flow, but our kids can’t all aspire to be the next LeBron or Lil Wayne. I want them aspiring to be scientists and engineers, doctors and teachers, not just ballers and rappers. I want them aspiring to be a Supreme Court justice. I want them aspiring to be president of the United States.”

Obama received a standing ovation after telling African-American children they need to aspire for more in their lives than just sports and entertainment.

Click in around the 27:00 mark when The Prez brings it on home

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