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(NNPA)—“Don’t just give us money, and don’t just show up for the Equal Opportunity Day dinner. That is not enough when you look at Black consumer power in this country. It’s not enough for you to come and shake our hands and be our friends. We want in.” —Vernon Jordan, National Urban League President 1971 -1981, on his message to corporate executives

The National Urban League recently released our annual report on the social and economic status of people of color, the State of Black America®. This year’s edition, “Locked Out: Education, Jobs & Justice,” was especially significant because it marked the 40th anniversary of the report, first issued in 1976 by Vernon Jordan.

In a video message Jordan recorded for the State of Black America® release, he recalled the tears he wept the night Barack Obama was elected President

“It dawned on me that my tears were not really my tears, but they were the tears of my grandparents and my parents. They were the tears of all those black people who toted that cotton and lifted that bale,” said Jordan. “The notion that Obama was going to be President, or that any black person was going to be President, is stunning.”

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