President Barack Obama spoke at the NAACP convention during the celebration of its 100th year last month. President Obama, in a wide ranging speech, touched on a number of issues confronting the African American community. Specifically, his message included an admonition to parents of young African American children. President Obama stated in referring to young black youth:
"They might think 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."
President Obama identifies a curious diffusion created in some ways by the media. Often, inner city communities are inundated with the notion that the career path that offers the most promise includes basketball or rhyming. Often, superstar black athletes and artists are overrepresented in the media while high acheivement in non-sports or non-entertainment careers are less highlighted. The truth is that many African Americans have acheived in spectacular ways including doctors, lawyers, engineers, Supreme Court Justices and Presidents of the United States. President Obama would like to see this focus become clearer.