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(2007) Senator Barack Obama “Voting Rights March Commemoration Speech”

Here today, I must begin because at the Unity breakfast this morning I was saving for last and the list was so long I left him out after that introduction. So I’m going to start by saying how much I appreciate the friendship and the support and the outstanding work that he does each and every day, not just in Capitol Hill but also back here in the district. Please give a warm round of applause for your Congressman Artur Davis.

It is a great honor to be here. Reverend Jackson, thank you so much. To the family of Brown A.M.E, to the good Bishop Kirkland, thank you for your wonderful message and your leadership.

I want to acknowledge one of the great heroes of American history and American life, somebody who captures the essence of decency and courage, somebody who I have admired all my life and were it not for him, I’m not sure I’d be here today, Congressman John Lewis.

I’m thankful to him. To all the distinguished guests and clergy, I’m not sure I’m going to thank Reverend Lowery because he stole the show. I was mentioning earlier, I know we"ve got C.T. Vivian in the audience, and when you have to speak in front of somebody who Martin Luther King said was the greatest preacher he ever heard, then you"ve got some problems.

And I’m a little nervous about following so many great preachers. But I’m hoping that the spirit moves me and to all my colleagues who have given me such a warm welcome, thank you very much for allowing me to speak to you here today.

You know, several weeks ago, after I had announced that I was running for the Presidency of the United States, I stood in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois; where Abraham Lincoln delivered his speech declaring, drawing in scripture, that a house divided against itself could not stand.

And I stood and I announced that I was running for the presidency. And there were a lot of commentators, as they are prone to do, who questioned the audacity of a young man like myself, haven"t been in Washington too long.

And I acknowledge that there is a

Charlotte girl's speech on race gets standing ovation

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