(CNN)– He gave a well received speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, but Rep. James Clyburn told CNN he had difficulty talking about the historic meaning behind the official
nomination of Sen. Barack Obama.
"It's a very emotional thing for me," Clyburn told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "It's hard to explain what it really means. It means though that this party has taken a step that will help this nation get behind it, one of those things that have impeded our progress for a long
Clyburn, the House Majority Whip and the most powerful African-American in Congress said Obama's nomination has brought back memories of his parents and his childhood, growing up during the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's.
"I really flashback to sitting in a jail cell," The South Carolina native admitted, adding he wasn't sure the struggles he endured then to bring about equality for African-Americans would ever have a "beneficial impact."
"It came to me this afternoon that we did in fact succeed it in starting a journey that still is not completed...[but] tomorrow night will get us much closer to a more perfect union,” he also said.
Clyburn remained neutral during the Democratic primary and officially endorsed the Illinois senator on June 3.