The TNR Primary: Part One

by Randall Kennedy | January 25, 2008

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 two: Judith Shulevitz

Part three: Erica Jong

Part four: John McWhorter

Part five: Paul Berman

Part six: Graydon Carter

Part seven: Allison Silverman

Part eight: Alan Wolfe

Part nine: John Anderson

Part ten: C.K. Williams

Part eleven: Todd Gitlin

Part twelve: Daniel Alarcón

Part thirteen: Larry Kramer

Part fourteen: Alan Dershowitz

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/the-tnr-primary-part-one