In 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama and credited his political career to those who marched on “Bloody Sunday” back in 1965. Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, and Obama will return to Selma as a president in his second term.

The Black Eagle‘s Joe Madison recently sat down with President Obama to discuss this weekend’s commemoration and what has changed regarding civil rights since the march – and what progress can still be made.

“I think that the generation that has followed the civil rights generation has, in many ways, made great strides,” President Obama said. “We all recognize that there continue to be challenges…We just saw the Ferguson report come out. I don’t think that is typical of what happens across the country, but it is not isolated. I think that there are circumstances in which trust between communities and law enforcement have broken down.”

President Obama’s daughters Malia and Sasha will attend the anniversary event in Alabama. Madison asked the president what he wants his daughters (and other members of their generation) to take away from the civil rights movement.

“This isn’t ancient history, and I worry sometimes our kids – black or white – think that this is something [that happened] way back in the past. This is something that happened within my lifetime,” President Obama said. “I want them to get that sense that enormous change can happen just because a group of people decide that they’re going to be willing to take risks on behalf of justice.”

Listen to the full interview On Demand.

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