New, Explicit Focus for Obama: ‘Young Men of Color’

What was that? The president didn’t give much detail on the rare race-specific language in his State of the Union address, but listeners took notice.

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President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 28, 2014.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama, in a relatively rare explicit mention of the race-related goals of a policy, hinted at a planned educational initiative to benefit "young men of color."

"I'm reaching out to some of America's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential," he said in remarks on efforts to offer hands-on training, give colleges incentives to offer better value and ensure that "no middle-class kid is priced out of a college education."

He did not offer any details on the nature of the partnerships.

"The bottom line is, Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us," he said.

The mention of the initiative did not draw applause comparable to what the president's comments about workplace fairness for women received, but listeners took notice:

Jenée Desmond-Harris is The Root’s senior staff writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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