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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle cover the upcoming March issue of Essence Magazine. Pop the hood for more info and to learn how the Prez stayed productive during the recent DC snowstorm.

In their upcoming cover story the Prez and First Lady spoke candidly on issues of education and how they’ve set their standards high for daughter’s Sasha and Malia:

“Malia will tell you, my attitude was, if she came home with a B, that’s not good enough because there’s no reason why she can’t get an ‘A’…” President Obama said.

In related news, BOSSIP has learned that President Obama dedicated part of his day Wednesday to meeting with black leaders to discuss how to improve economic opportunities for blacks. The unemployment rate for blacks is well above the national average and is nearly twice that of whites.

Despite dangerous winter weather in Washington, Obama kept his scheduled meeting with Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP; Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. 97-year-old Dorothy Height, chairwoman of the National Council of Negro Women, was unable to make the trip to the White House in the inclement weather.

Obama and the other leaders focused on targeting aid to regions to help black people and other groups that have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession, Jealous said.

“When you try to focus on how to lift all those boats, what you come back to are places — geographic areas, urban and rural, where assistance should be located,” he said. “That approach can work if Congress lets it work.”

He added: “This is about place. It’s not about race.”

Obama, the nation’s first black president, has consistently held that he cannot adopt employment strategies that are designed to solely help blacks. But he supports targeting help to regions most in need, which in turn, he says, would lift the African-American community.

There is a push among some black advocates for Obama’s administration to target black joblessness with training programs and direct job creation. The unemployment rate for blacks was 16.5 percent in January, compared to 9.7 percent overall and 8.7 percent for whites.

“What’s clear is that we have a president who gets it,” Jealous said. He accused Republican lawmakers and governors of obstructing Obama on initiatives like stimulus spending and a push to overhaul health insurance. Those efforts would help minorities, he said.

We’re hoping Obama comes up with a solution soon — we’re trying to get Cousin Ray Ray off the couch ASAP!




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