"You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us."
"Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can't be bargained away. This vote can't be given away."
"[T]his is the great danger America faces -- that we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual; each seeking to satisfy private wants. If that happens, who then will speak for America? Who then will speak for the common good?"
-Barbara Jordan, 1976 DNC
"Hope -- Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is Godís greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead."
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
"I am one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
And of course, JRE...
"Like all of us, I have learned a lot of lessons in my life. Two of the most important are that, first, there will always be heartache and struggle; we can't make it go away. But the second is that people of good and strong will can make a difference. One is a sad lesson, and the other is inspiring.
"We are Americans and we choose to be inspired. We choose hope over despair, possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism. We choose to do what's right even when those around us say, "You can't do that," we choose to be inspired, because we know that we can do better, because this is America where everything is still possible."
"We can also do something about 35 million Americans who live in poverty every day. And here's why we shouldn't just talk about, but do something about the millions of Americans who live in poverty: because it is wrong. And we have a moral responsibility to lift those families up.
"I mean, the very idea that in a country of our wealth and our prosperity, we have children going to bed hungry? We have children who don't have the clothes to keep them warm? We have millions of Americans who work full-time every day to support their families, working for minimum wage, and still live in poverty. It's wrong."