2014-04-09T051134Z_1_CBREA380EFD00_RTROPTP_2_OBAMA

Obama to mark U.S. civil rights law that paved way for his presidency

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to Bladensburg High School in BladensburgBy Steve Holland and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama this week celebrates the civil rights advances of 50 years ago which laid the groundwork for him to become the first black president, but his own record in making life better for the African-American community that catalyzed his election is mixed. Obama will join former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in speaking at the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, this week to mark a half century since Johnson’s landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. As the first African-American president, Obama is the physical embodiment of racial progress that Johnson brought about.

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