Obama to Meet With Black Church Leaders
White House meeting comes amid criticism from African Americans
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2010 8:04 AM CDT
President Barack Obama, center, speaks at church services at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church Washington Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Barack Obama will meet with about 20 black religious leaders at the White House today, following a broader Easter prayer breakfast, in his latest attempt to reach out to the African-American community. Criticism of Obama within those ranks heated up last month, the Washington Post notes, but a White House spokesman insists that the meeting “is not about politics. It is about connecting with key faith leaders on the challenges impacting our nation.”

The preachers seem to already be in Obama’s corner; they’ve written an open letter praising his work so far. “He is the president of the United States, not just the president of black people,” said a bishop from the African Methodist Episcopal Church. But “if you are talking about health care, you are talking about African Americans. If you talk about unemployment, African Americans are losing jobs disproportionately.”