President Barack Obama‘s keynote address at Rev. Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network (NAN) Convention in New York on Friday was heavy on both style and substance.
With the easy confidence of a favored son returning home, Obama encouraged participants not to allow Beltway political games and conservative attempts at disenfranchisement to dampen the urgency of voting.
“The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act was passed in to law nearly five decades ago,” said Obama. “The real voter fraud is people trying to deny our rights by making voting harder in the first place.”
Convention attendees described Obama’s remarks as “incredible” and “phenomenal.” Many exited the venue with a renewed sense of purpose and NewsOne was there to capture their candid reactions.
The alliance between Sharpton and Obama is a powerful one that reassured at least one woman we asked that the president is dedicated to Black America: “Coming to Al Sharpton’s events lets us know that he does care, that he is reaching out to the Black community,” she said with pride.
One man said that Obama’s appearance proved his loyalty to those who helped him win both elections.
“He remembered his roots,” the man said, nodding approvingly. “He remembered his roots.”
Audience Reactions To The President’s Address
Watch President Obama joke with attendees about Republican obsession with his birth certificate and the importance of voting below.
NewsOne At President Obama’s Address
View the President’s full speech on YouTube.