President Obama’s Positive Track Record For Helping African Americans

Administration has not failed the black community according to its policies

President Barack Obama

Over the past eight years, President Barack Obama has worked to improve the lives of all Americans, including African Americans, by providing economic and educational opportunities, improving healthcare coverage, working to ensure that the criminal justice system is applied fairly to all citizens, and championing workforce development to ensure we continue to develop and retain the strongest, most productive workforce in the world. During this Administration, African Americans have made strides in many of these areas.

[RELATED: What the Obama Administration Is Doing to Fight Black Unemployment]

What’s more, President Obama’s JumpStart Our Business Start-up (JOBS) Act resulted in a major shift in securities laws that meant the emancipation of capital for minority and women-owned businesses, who traditionally have struggled with gaining access to capital through traditional means. More minorities and lower net worth individuals were able to get in on investments that can drive more wealth generation to their communities. Thanks to Titles II, III, and IV, a start-up can publicly raise capital, participate in equity-based crowdfunding and use online tools to find investors, as well as raise up to $50 million from both non-accredited investors and accredited investors (those making at least $200,000 a year or have a million dollar net-worth).

Under President Obama’s watch there was an emphasis on black males. In February 2014, the president 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. President Obama is said to be planning to make My Brother’s Keeper a major policy before he leaves office.

African American and white political pundits alike, continue to attack President Obama’s record, regardless of discriminatory practices, by pointing to the high school dropout rate, poverty rate, and high unemployment rate among African Americans. The Administration admits more work remains to further improve economic outcomes for African Americans and fight to rid the nation of the long-term disparities that have put the African American community at a disadvantage.

Still and all, this Administration’s notable record includes:

Restoring Economic Security: According to the White House, American businesses have added over 14 million jobs. This job growth has helped cut the African American unemployment rate in half – from 16.8% in March 2010 to 8.3% in December 2015, its lowest level since September 2007. The African American unemployment rate has fallen by more than the overall unemployment rate in the past few years, and is further below its pre-recession level than any other racial or ethnic group.

Helping the Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work: The Administration has taken steps to help more of the long-term unemployed get back to work, around one-quarter of whom are African American. The president unveiled a set of “best practices” being taken by leading employers — including over 80 members of the Fortune 500 and over 20 members of the Fortune 50 — around recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed to remove some of the barriers that make it harder for them to navigate the hiring process. The Department of Labor awarded nearly $170 million in “Ready to Work Partnership” grants to support the best models for partnerships between employers, non-profits and the job training system, to help train and connect the long-term unemployed to work.

Providing Comprehensive Healthcare: President Obama’s victories in Congress for comprehensive health care coverage, as well as his win in the Supreme Court, meant that many African Americans benefited. By March 2015, over 16 million Americans had enrolled in Obamacare, reports NBC News. Because of Obamacare, the rates of uninsured Americans have fallen to 11.9% after being at 16% when President Bush left office. Over 3 million poor Americans, including hundreds of thousands of African Americans in the south would be covered if not for Republican governors blocking the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

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  • Mr_Rush

    Yeah, but he’s blatantly dropped the ball on our most pressing issue: police brutality and murder with impunity against Blacks.

    • Barak Obama

      You can’t be serious. Obama has done zero to help Police and supports BLM in every case.

      • C

        Barak stood up for blacks when murders happened. Research for yourself

      • Dr.Angela Celeste Mau

        Wow. How easily people forget. President Obama did all of this, and it was A LOT, with the wall of opposition against him from republicans. And even with these fantastic successes still, there was even more that he wanted to do and could have if he had repiblicans who were actually interested in doing their jobs for Americans more than they were committed to making him look bad. My hisband and I are a witness to seeing the jobs come back thanks to his work. Also, many of those who feel he let them down had unrealistic expectations of what one president can do even in 8 years and with a Senate that works. Hello folks, he can’t undo generarions of social and economic oppression in two terms! He could only do so much but he sure worked at it and he accomplished alot! I congratulate him on a successful presidency.

        • Tj

          You seriously just basically said the president wanted to help black americans but evil ole racist wouldn’t let him… no! He didn’t help because democrats don’t want black americans to do better. They keep their foot on your throat and tell you its a republicans foot. Fyi: I’m an agnostc libertarian, not a republican.

          • Franklin

            “You’re not a Republican” but yet you spouted the same moronic Republican mantra and nonsensical talking points. Libertarians btw, are just “Idiots who think like Republicans but don’t want to call themselves Republicans.”

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  • saunya

    Sorry, I didn’t benefit from nothing mentioned in this article. Middle income Americans are being robbed in order to provide these benefits to lower income Americans, period. Money does grow on trees you know. Obama has to steal it from somewhere.

    • C

      What more help does the middle income need except tax breaks?

    • jartis

      I am an entrepreneur and I benefited as an entrepreneur and a homeowner. We havent had a president that has worked so hard to help improve our situation. In order to help improvement he worked on providing higher education, aiding and encouraging business ownership, and improving lower income wages. These are things that will help to stimulate our community. We are at the bottom when it comes to income and most of us dont have insurance so we are also dying early. Our young people are caught up in trying to live there life via rap music and need to be educated. We can’t just sit around and wait for things to happen and complain. The opportunites are there. Lets not forget that republicans run the house and rejected a lot of Obama’s suggestes policies. There are 2 to 300million people america that he as the President has to be responsible for. The only thing that I would say he should have did more for is the police brutality. Overall he did a great job and now we have the reality star for president

      • MissK

        I’m going to bet that Saunya is a white woman. Just because SHE didn’t benefit from it, doesn’t mean that it hasn’t helped many people. Awww, Poor white people aren’t being catered to and black people are starting to gain a little more attention. Its always middle aged and older white people who complain and cry about it. FYI Saunya, just because he has helped minorities does not make him racist. I bet you’re thinking that huh?
        (PS) I’m white and even I’m sick of white peoples crap

  • A Saw

    He can’t just change States laws with police without proof and record keeping for police on a national level is poor. State and local elections affect our everyday lives more than the president.

    Also, you save money on a round about way with the ACA it affected a high number of black folk who never had insurance (in states that excepted exchanges). Also, not explained is how we lost money in the housing crisis. When other people lost lost money on their homes rich (white people typically) were able to find people to buy their homes and recoup their losses. Because so many black people’s money was tied to realty at criminal rates many more homes forclosed. He did over promise on his ability to aide home buyers tho.

  • Dottie

    To my knowledge, he didn’t/couldn’t help homeowners whose loans are not held by Freddie or Fannie. Those loans held by hedge funds and the like. That’s why folks couldn’t use Hamp or Harp.

    • C

      Didn’t he initiate the First Time Homeowners Benefit? Research

  • Ray J.

    He was a president for everybody. I do feel he could have done more for Blacks directly. As a small black woman owned construction business, he could have mandated more opportunities for MBE and WBE companies at the prime level. For instance, he could have made every government entity set aside small projects directly for MBE and WBE companies. The number of approved construction contractors competing at the prime level is not equal in comparison with whites vs. African Americans or any other race. For instance, there currently exists only four African American firms, two woman owned firms and two Latino owned firms out of 39 approved general contractors for one particular government entity that will remain nameless. Generalized marketplace discrimination and other nebulous forms of bias retard the formation of minority businesses, especially among African Americans. Since the Democrats bark about helping small businesses, we need more opportunities to participate in government funded construction projects. This provides a level playing field for small businesses to compete in the construction space, a key area in which larger companies are at an inherent advantage.

  • Nicole Nwaoha

    As a black woman, me as well as many black men and women that I know benefited from some of the policies set by Obama. I have seen more black businesses in my area now than I’ve ever seen.

  • Tee

    This is misleading the unemployment rate when Obama took over was 7%. When he took over and it continued to climb now it’s close to him leaving it dropped but it is still higher than when he came in office

    • Saint

      The article says “African American unemployment.” not unemployment in general. Tee bone

  • Booker

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  • prentiss

    I think he could have done more for the urban communitues he leaves office with very little done for african american employment , eaight years is a long time in office with such a low record. A big let down.

  • Fitz

    Each of the examples given doesn’t equate fully to the plight of Black Americans exclusively. Who is anyone kidding to insinuate. Obama has been very clear on not suppprting Black interests from go..

  • Christophe Montgomery

    You people is on Crack if you think Obama help the black community

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