In 1991, the Black Law Students Association at Harvard Law School chose Barack Obama to be the keynote speaker at its annual spring banquet. Typically, the association chose to honor with its invitation a senior figure in the world of law--an esteemed professor, a distinguished judge, or a famous attorney. On this occasion, however, the association took the unprecedented step of inviting a mere student, one of their own, to be the speaker. I was in the audience. He delivered an address titled, as I recall it, "Remembering Where You Come From."
At the conclusion, Obama received a standing ovation. His classmates recognized that they were in the presence of an extraordinary person. They were prescient in discerning qualities that millions are now in the midst of discovering--qualities that prompt me to support Obama for the presidency.
Randall Kennedy is a professor at Harvard Law School.
Part one: Randall Kennedy
Part fourteen: Alan Dershowitz