My thanks to commenter Cuz for reminding me about Barbara Jordan, the late Texas congresswoman.
The 1976 Democratic primaries were the first political race I ever paid attention to. At 14 years old, I dealt with it in high school. (Specifically, I remember reading about Jerry Brown in a civics class.)
The summer of ’76 – of my own volition – I watched the Democratic National Convention on TV. And I vividly recall Barbara Jordan’s keynote address. Especially when she name-checked herself in the first minute.
That speech is remembered still as one of the best political speeches of recent decades. It is one of the Top 100 catalogued speeches at AmericanRhetoric.com, whence I downloaded myself an MP3 copy.
To hear a 3½-minute excerpt of Rep. Jordan’s keynote address – delivered July 12, 1976 in New York City – click here.
To read a full transcript or download an MP3 file of the complete speech, follow this link to American Rhetoric.
I decided to post this after seeing Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough embarrass themselves on MSNBC yesterday morning, going on and on about how Barack Obama is the most inspiring political orator they’ve ever witnessed in their lives. Matthews said he was moved to tears by an Obama stump speech this week.
Okay... reality slap: What Matthews said was the 21st-Century equivalent of praising a black man for having rhythm. Don’t believe me? Follow this link and watch it for yourself.