Transcript: President Obama's Powerful, Historic Speech in Selma

Saturday, March 7, 2015

One of President Obama's most powerful speeches? Listen for yourself and decide. Also, listen to John Lewis, not just President Obama's hero, but a hero for all of America!
It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:
No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.
Then, his knapsack stocked with an apple, a toothbrush, a book on government - all you need for a night behind bars - John Lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change America.
President Bush and Mrs. Bush, Governor Bentley, Members of Congress, Mayor Evans, Reverend Strong, friends and fellow Americans:
There are places, and moments in America where this nation's destiny has been decided. Many are sites of war - Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America's character - Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.
Selma is such a place.