Students will be required to complete a concise, well-articulated essay that incorporates a speech found within the Golway text (or an approved speech) that covers one or multiple concepts covered in the course. You will discuss different elements of the speech and describe how they relate to American government as recommended by a grading rubric provided by the instructor.
The Golway text has famous speeches by U.S. presidents and other leaders from George Washington all the way to George W. Bush and Barak Obama (and many in between). Consider reviewing a speech from a person you don’t know know much about (just a thought). Tell me about their speech, what did the say, what do you think they really meant, and what does it mean to you. There’s no “right” approach…again, Tell me about their speech, what did the say, what do you think they really meant, and what does it mean to you. Make sense??
This essay should be at least 1,000 words in length, not including references, tables, graphs, etc. This essay should be double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman or Cambria font with standard one-inch margins. All references should be cited according to the American Psychology Association (APA) (6th ed.) style in author-date format with a separate reference section located at the end of the essay. It is highly recommended that you consult the citation guides provided online (e.g., https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl).
**10. Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” Speech**
(This is the speech I want the essay on)
What Obama Said: “Contrary to the claim of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve to think as to believe we can get beyond our racial divisions on a single election cycle or with a single candidate, particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own. But I have asserted a firm conviction, a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people, that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice. We have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union…What we know, what we have seen, is that America can change. That is the true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope, the audacity to hope, for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.”
Why It Was Important: Conventional wisdom wouldn’t recommend a speech on race. But Obama ran to the challenge, not away from it. Uniquely positioned to do so, he welcomed listeners to places many have never experienced—a predominantly black church, a cringeworthy conversation with a beloved relative of a different race, the kitchen tables of white Americans who feel resentful and left behind—and he recounted Americans often divergent perspectives. He asked us to be honest about our past while connecting it to the structural barriers faced by African Americans and other people of color today…Direct, honest, but nuanced, Obama believed that most Americans were ready to hear the truth and make a choice, to move beyond racial stalemate, face our challenges, and act accordingly.