On the evening of July 27, 2004, Barack Obama, a previously little known senatorial candidate from Illinois, delivered a riveting keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.
“If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child…It's that fundamental belief—I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper—that makes this country work,” Obama said in his speech.
Born in Hawaii, the son of a Kenyan father and a white Midwestern mother, Obama went on to attend Harvard Law School and worked as a Constitutional law professor and in private legal practice before entering politics. In 2004, Obama won Illinois’ state senate race, becoming the fifth Black senator in U.S. history.
Four years after appearing on the national stage, Obama became the country’s first Black president after running a successful presidential campaign marked by record Black voter turnout.
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(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)