I was up in Manchester yesterday evening at the invitation of George Osbourne and Operation Black Vote to hear Rev Jesse Jackson speak. I thought that I had travelled a long way until I saw Wilfred Emmanuel Jones there who had come up from Chippenham.
I have heard some good speeches in my time but is is something else to watch someone who grew up in the passionate oratory tradition of the baptist church and civil rights movement. It was a masterclass.
What struck me was that someone who would be defined and probably defines himself as being on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Conservative party said many things which echo or feelings towards family and social responsibility. Self reliance, responsibility, the importance of education and the family were are core to his speech.
It also became clear to me that the history of slavery has left much deeper scares in black American society than here in the UK, his speech was interwoven with references to slavery and he clearly felt that much of what is wrong in black society both in the USA and here is a direct result of slavery. I felt that there was still an undercurrent of "us vs them" in the speech.
I don't nesesarilly agree with everything the Jesse Jackson said in his speech but there was a great deal that I did. And I would finish by saying that if you get the chance to see him speak, jump at it, it's an experience.
16 minutes ago