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UCCtruths

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Obama delivers address to National Ministers Conference

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama gave a significant speech today at the Hampton University Annual Ministers Conference and references his UCC roots. From Obama's speech:
That journey started a long time ago in Hawaii, but it got interesting when I moved to Chicago. I moved there when I was just a year out of college, and a group of churches offered me a job as a community organizer so I could help rebuild neighborhoods that had been devastated by the closing of steel plants.

They didn’t pay me much, but they gave me enough to live on plus something extra to buy an old, beat-up car, and so I took the job and drove out to Chicago, where I didn’t know a soul. And during the time I was there, we worked to set up job training programs for the unemployed and after school programs for kids.

It was also there – at Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side of Chicago – that I met Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who took me on another journey and introduced me to a man named Jesus Christ. It was the best education I ever had. At Trinity and working in the South Side, I learned that when church folks come together, they can achieve extraordinary things.

After three years, I went back across this country to law school. I left there with a degree and a lifetime of debt, but I turned down the corporate job offers so I could come back to Chicago and organize a voter registration drive. I also started a civil rights practice, and began to teach constitutional law.

After a few years, people started coming up to me and telling me I should run for state Senate. So I did what every man does when he’s faced with a big decision – I prayed on it, and I asked my wife. And after consulting those two higher powers, I decided to get in the race.

Everywhere I’d go, I’d get two questions. First, they’d ask, “Where’d you get that funny name, Barack Obama?” Because people just couldn’t pronounce it. They’d call me “ Alabama,” or they’d call me “Yo Mama.” And I’d tell them that my father was from Kenya, and that’s where I got my name. And my mother was from Kansas, and that’s where I got my accent from.
posted by UCCtruths, Tuesday, June 05, 2007

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