Obama to Speak at LBJ Civil Rights Summit

Posted: April 15, 2014 in History

The president will be joined by predecessors Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to speak about the country’s civil rights struggles thus far, and the work still to be done.

Posted: April 10 2014 1:16 PM

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Rep. John Lewis tour the great hall of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library with library Director Mark Updegrove (far left), April 10, 2014, in Austin, Texas.


President Barack Obama, along with some of his predecessors, is participating in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act by former President Lyndon B Johnson—a befitting commemoration for the nation’s first black president.

Obama is one of the speakers at the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit, along with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Houston Chronicle reports. The summit, which started April 8 and ends today, explores the nation’s civil rights struggles thus far, as well as the work still to be done to ensure a better future in areas such as race, same-sex marriage, women’s rights, immigration and disability rights.

Obama is expected to speak today, with Bush following up later in the day. Carter spoke on Tuesday, and Clinton gave his speech yesterday.

“We are truly honored to host President Obama as the keynote speaker at the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit in April. We’re equally honored that the first lady will join the president in attending this landmark event,” said library Director Mark K. Updegrove, according to a press release. “The world has evolved considerably in the half-century that has passed since the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As our first African-American president, Barack Obama is the fulfillment of the promise of the civil rights legislation delivered by President Johnson and a bipartisan Congress.”

The library director told the Chronicle that he hoped Obama “might use this as a platform to sound the central message that he wants to deliver as president on the subject of race,” given his importance as the first black president and how candidly he has spoken about race in the past.

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