April 2016 marked the eighth and last White House Correspondents Dinner that President Obama would lead. It’s usually a time of smart one-liners, big laughs from comedians and over all fun times. This year didn’t dissappoint. And in a move that many classic entertainers might do, Mr. President left the stage by dropping the mic and saying “Obama out.”
So taking a look back over the past 8 years, we look at what President Barack Obama has done–this time specifically for us–Black America.
1. Gave Money Back To Black Farmers
President Obama’s administration oversaw the $1.2 billion settlement awarded to Black farmers who have been denied loans and assistance by the Agricultural Dept. for decades.
This is the second round of settlements in a case filed in 1997, which alleged that thousands of black farmers had been discriminated against between 1983 and 1997. This round is directed at farmers who were not awarded payment because of missed filing deadlines.
This agreement provided overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and “bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on,” Obama said in a statement.
2. Focus On Black Males
In February 2014, President Obama introduced My Brother’s Keeper, to specifically focus on improving the lives of young African American males. The initiative is encouraging nonprofits to raise $200 million in five years for programs focused on young men of color. Though My Brother’s Keeper is not a federally funded government program, no such effort has existed before under any American President. [Update] President Obama has given funding to MBK for specific mentoring initiatives across the country.
3.Expanded Funding For HBCUs
In February of this year, President Obama signed an executive order increasing funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to $850 million over the next 10 years. The funding is being administered through the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. By the way, this is the most funding any administration has given to HBCU’s.
4. Signed The Crack Cocaine Bill (Fair Sentencing Act)
Crack users are disproportionately sentenced to longer jail terms than those who use powder. This unfair sentencing practice punished African Americans more severely than their white counterparts. With the signing of the Fair Sentencing Act, though, President Obama narrowed that disparity significantly.
President Obama signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act, which narrows the huge disparity in punishment given to those convicted of possessing crack cocaine versus those found with the drug in powder form.
Under the old law, someone convicted of possessing five grams of crack cocaine received a mandatory five years in prison. Those convicted of possessing powder cocaine had to be holding 100 times that amount to get the same mandatory sentence. Not to mention, he was also the only sitting President to visit a maximum security prison
5. Improved Graduation Rates Among African American High School Students
In 2013, the President introduced a new initiative meant to help more African American students finish … continue on BDO