Senator Barack Obama made his appearance at the Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network Conference yesterday. The conference, which is also known as the Sharpton primary, featured many Democratic presidential candidates, including Senator Hillary Clinton on Friday. But yesterday's speech from Clinton rival Senator Barack Obama was especially notable, given the earlier talk that Sharpton wasn't a big fan of Obama. Obama worked to woo the crowd, even joking, when Sharpton's Blackberry buzzed on the podium, "There's something humming down here. Is that Hillary calling?" Obama announced he supported Sharpton's efforts to go after negative language in the hip-hop industry, Obama thinks more should be done. From the NY Times:
"Let's not just single out the rappers...I’ve heard those words around the kitchen tables,” Mr. Obama said, speaking to members of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network at its ninth convention. “All of us have been complicit in diminishing ourselves, and engaging in the kind of self hatred that keeps our young men and young women down. That’s something we have to talk about in this election.”
Sharpton announced plans to buy stock in corporations who own record labels and go to shareholder meetings to complain about language on rap albums.
However, Obama was less warmly received than Clinton. The AP also reports that Obama erred by calling the group "Urban Action Network" a few times, but that he also "also assured the largely black audience he did not believe he was automatically entitled to their support."
Photograph of Sharpton and Obama yesterday by Frank Franklin II/AP