And meeting with young black men who are at-risk, Jarrett said, will serve as a profound moment in Obama’s presidency.

“Children today are growing up thinking it’s perfectly normal to have a president who is African American,” Jarrett said Thursday. “Eight years of having a black president is going to be a good chunk of their childhood. And that’s good for the country.”

Some could argue that Obama’s choice to speak directly to black male teenagers represents a sea of change in the way the White House promotes its black agenda.

When asked about the president’s perceived reluctance to discuss race publicly, Jarrett said the White House plans to do a better job communicating its social and economic policies to the black community.

“We’re not afraid to say this is going to help black people,” Jarrett said.

On Friday, Obama will also address 700 students at the Hyde Park school in a speech that will touch on his push for gun control legislation, urban gun violence and the senseless murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.

Pendleton was shot and killed on Jan. 29 when a gunman opened fire on her group of friends who were sitting in a Chicago park. She performed at Obama’s inauguration just days before she was murdered. The two suspects who were charged in Pendleton’s murder are black men.

Earlier this week, the White House invited Hadiya’s parents — Cleopatra and Nathaniel Pendleton — as guests for the president’s State of the Union address. During his speech, Obama introduced the issue of urban gun violence on a national stage while skillfully linking his gun control lobbying to inner city crime. Chicago’s homicide rate continues to soar, the consequence of urban gang violence.

President Obama Promotes New Plan For Black Neighborhoods, Mentor Young Black Men  was originally published on

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