President Barack Obama clarified that although his administration has a new effort to help young Black men, he’s not leaving Black girls behind.
The president has faced some criticism that he’s ignoring the problems facing young Black women after launching the My Brother’s Keeper campaign, which is aimed at mentoring young men of color in order to keep them on the right track and helping them take advantage of opportunities that can help further their educations. During his speech at the Congressional Black Caucus, the president spoke on that assumption.
“We’re not forgetting about the girls, by the way. I got two daughters—I don’t know if you noticed,” he said. “African-American girls are more likely than their white peers also to be suspended, incarcerated, physically harassed.”
And he acknowledged that those challenges only continue into adulthood. “Black women struggle every day with biases that perpetuate oppressive standards for how they’re supposed to look and how they’re supposed to act,” he stated. “Too often, they’re either left under the hard light of scrutiny, or cloaked in a kind of invisibility.”
While no new initiative to help Black female students has been announced at this time, the president revealed that his administration has always been working to help you Black women in other ways.
“So in addition to the new efforts on My Brother’s Keeper, the White House Council for Women and Girls has for years been working on issues affecting women and girls of color, from violence against women, to pay equity, to access to health care,” the president said.
“And you know Michelle has been working on that,” Barack added, “Because she doesn’t think our daughters should be treated differently than anybody else’s son. I’ve got a vested interest in making sure that our daughters have the same opportunities as boys do.