Barack Obama speech in Selma Alabama
“What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, ‘You know, we’re battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.’ So the Kennedyâ€™s decided we’re going to do an air lift. We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.
“This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me Iâ€™m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.”
Obama’s Selma speech. Text as delivered.
SELMA, ALA.–From the pulpit of the historic Brown Chapel A.M.E. church, White House hopeful Barack Obama talks about the job of the “Joshua generation” and his own claim to a place in the civil rights movement.