Barack Obama has told African Americans to ‘stop complainin,’ ‘put on your marching shoes’ and follow him into the battle for jobs and opportunity.

Speaking at the annual awards dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington last night, the President hit back at leaders who say he’s not doing enough to fight black unemployment.

At 16.7 per cent it is nearly double the national average and at a 27-year high.

Just five months ago, 83 per cent of African-Americans held ‘strongly favorable’ views of Mr Obama.

That number has now dropped to 58 per cent, according to a Washington Post-ABC news poll.

When Mr Obama asked out-of-work black Americans for help at the Caucus awards dinner last night observers may have felt he was also pleading for a lifeline in his second term bid.

Referencing the civil rights struggle Mr Obama added that the fight for what is right is never easy.

‘Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,’ he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted.

‘Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.’

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