Leaders in education, public policy, religion, and black communities discussed the future impact of African Americans on Western culture, the United States’ global image, and the social, political, and economic future. They also talked about political and community organizing, as well as public policy concerns. The State of the Black Union 2007: Jamestown, America's 400th Anniversary, was titled "The African American Imprint on America" to commemorate the 400th anniversary of America at Jamestown, Virginia.
About 15,000 people registered for the two-day State of the Black Union weekend, which kicked off Friday at the College of William and Mary with a discussion among a dozen black historians about the impact of black Americans on the nation in light of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of English settlers to Jamestown, Va.
On Saturday, the day-long forum discussed the impact of politics, education, public policy, religion and technology on the agenda of “The Covenant With Black America,” a blueprint on how black Americans can tackle the challenges that face them in the new millennium.
At the same time Barack Obama was announcing his candidacy for president in Springfield, Illinois.
This instantly created a rift, as Obama could have changed his date and attended the larger meeting that was a year in the making among the panelists were two African-Americans who have run for president, Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Sharpton also chided Obama for making his presidential announcement in Springfield rather than before the predominantly African-American audience at Hampton, and said the Illinois senator needs to declare "what's his embrace of our agenda."
In his speech Obama said "It will take your time, your energy and your advice to push us forward when we're doing right, and to let us know when we're not," he said. "This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change."
Here's some advice Mr. Obama next time attend the Black State of the Union
To watch the State of the Black Union & Obama presidential announcement click here
See Obama interview on 60 minutes click here