Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina is the highest-ranking African American person in Congress. He has been credited with changing the political landscape of the United States during the 2020 Democratic primary. 

In 2007, he sat down for a StoryCorps interview with his granddaughter Sydney Reed, to tell her about the life lessons he’d learned from his four decades in politics.

Top photo: James Clyburn and his granddaughter, Sydney Reed, at her college graduation from Mississippi State University in May of 2019. Courtesy of Sydney Reed.
Middle photo: Sydney Reed and James Clyburn at their StoryCorps interview in Columbus, SC on February 9, 2007. Photo by Alexandria Wright.

Originally aired February 1, 2013, on NPR’s Morning Edition. Rebroadcast March 6, 2020, on the same program.