Make It Plain: Standing Up and Speaking Out by Vernon E. Jordan, Jr
Black Americans have always relied on the oral tradition--storytelling, preaching, and speechmaking--to assert their rights and preserve and pass on their history and culture. In the pulpit, courtroom, or cotton field, they have understood the power of words, distinctively delivered, to educate and inspire. Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., one of the nation's finest speakers, imbibed this tradition as a young man and has given it his own unique inflection from his work on the civil rights front lines, to the National Urban League, to positions of influence at the highest level of business and politics. A friend and confidant to presidents, Jordan has never forgotten the men and women whose oratorical skill in service to social justice deeply influenced him. Their examples and voices, reflected in Vernon's own, make this book both a history and an embodiment of black speech at its finest.--From publisher description.
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. is a senior managing director of Lazard FrÃ¿s & Co. LLC in New York. He was previously president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League, executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc., and director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council. He served as chairman of the Clinton Presidential Transition Team in 1992 and is senior counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP.
Table of Contents:
Introduction -- Urban League Beginnings, 1971 -- New Ideas for the New South, 1976 -- Battling the Callousness of Political Reality, 1977 -- Declaring Our Interdependence, 1979 -- Civil Rights: Past Gains, Present Uncertainty, 1981 -- Our Children, Our Peers, 1981 -- Bad Fix in America: The Reagan Years, 1983 -- A Year of Cascading Change, 1989 -- A Powerful Voice: Not Stilled, Still Heard, 1993 -- Entering the Third Millennium, 2001 -- A True Alfalfan at Heart, 2004 -- Praising the Lord and the Legacy, 2008 -- Acknowledgments -- Index.
The long and storied career of Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. one of the nation's finest speakers, has carried him from work on the civil rights front lines in the South to the National Urban League to positions of influence at the highest level of business and politics. A friend and confidant to presidents, Vernon Jordan has never forgotten the men and women, from Wiley Branton to Martin Luther King, from Fannie Lou Hamer to Whitney Young to Primus King, whose oratorical skill in service to social justice deeply influenced him. Their examples, and voices, mixed with Vernon's own make this book both a history and an embodiment of black speech at its finest, full of emotion, controlled force, righteous indignation, love of country, and awe in front of the challenges ahead.