Presidential Weekly Address - 25 February 2017
My fellow Americans,
As Black History Month 2017 comes to a close, I am very grateful for the many wonderful opportunities to honor African American heroes, faith leaders, entrepreneurs and the many others who changed the course of our Nation. We are blessed by the lives and examples of those who have made this Nation a beacon of freedom, talent, and unbreakable American spirit.
This week, I had the privilege of visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture right here in Washington, D.C. It’s a new, beautiful Smithsonian museum that serves as a shining example of African Americans’ incredible contributions to our culture, our society, and our history. It also tells of the great struggle for freedom and equality that prevailed against the sins of slavery and the injustice of discrimination.
The work and love of the people who helped create such a masterpiece is a testament to the legacy of so many leaders it honors. I left that museum confident that together, America can overcome any challenge.
There’s a great quote by Muhammad Ali in the museum – “I shook up the world,” he said. And that is what he did. So did leaders like Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, and so many others. They shook up the world for the better because they inspired our Nation to march toward justice and freedom for all. Today, and every day, I pledge to continue that march so that every American – no matter his background, no matter her background – has the chance to climb that great ladder of success.
It was very special to accompany Dr. Ben Carson and his family for the first time seeing the Carson exhibit. I am proud that soon he will serve in my cabinet as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. HUD has a very, very powerful meaning far beyond housing. It is about transforming our communities. About bringing back hope. And Ben will do a fantastic job.
That’s what I am committed to doing also. I want every African-American child, family, and worker to have access to great schools, safe communities, and good-paying jobs. I want every disadvantaged child in America to have a choice about where they go to school – so important. I also want to honor and promote the achievements of Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout our Nation. They do a fantastic job. They are not given the credit that they deserve, and they are going to start getting that credit.
In order to help African Americans thrive, we are working very hard to make sure every child can grow up in a safe community – and have access to high-paying jobs.
We’ve lost a lot of our best jobs to other countries – and this has hurt the African American community very badly. This week I met with manufacturing CEOs – we’re going to be working to bring back those jobs, and I mean really good-paying jobs.
I will be talking more about these issues in my Joint Session Address to Congress and to all Americans next Tuesday evening. I hope you will be watching.
Thank you, God bless you and God bless America.