Documentary History (US)

Landmark Speeches, Compacts, and Pronouncements

CHALLENGE: Watch the videos and read the transcripts. Now consider the following-

1. What was the context for the author's work? Research one or more recent events at the time, which helped fuel his or her words.

2. Which group or groups were primarily addressed? What was the author's main objective?

3. How was it received at the time by different groups? Imagine / discuss what the presence of social media might've meant in terms of impact and reception.

4. Do you detect edits* made in any of the transcripts? If so, which ones and what are they?

*Have you ever heard the word "Albino" used to describe a white person, excluding those with a medically diagnosed disease of melanin-deficiency? What was the purpose of using the term "Negro" for so many decades, in your mind? Timeline its acceptable usage, in parallel with the trajectory of the civil rights movement.

*Is the use - if any - of "man" or "men" exclusive (as in men, but not women) or inclusive (as in "the human race")? If the latter, in your opinion, do you see any obvious reason as to why this terminology wouldn't then have been actually adopted by the author?

BONUS EXERCISE

 

Research the first inaugural presidential address of Abraham Lincoln. After reading it through and/or listening to a recital, answer the questions above. How does it compare to the tone of his Gettysburg Address? To what do you attribute the differences, if any?