Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama's Race Speech

March 18, 2009 marks the one year anniversary of Barack Obama’s Race Speech, A More Perfect Union, held at the National Constitution Center. In this pivotal speech, Obama spoke about the issue of race in America, and offered hope for a better America.

Today the Center launched a virtual exhibit about the Race Speech, making it easy to bring into the classroom. The website, www.constitutioncenter.org/obamaracespeech contains a wealth of materials your students will enjoy. You can play clips from the speech, highlighting specific moments or see how historians and the media responded. The Center provides a lesson plan for teachers about Obama’s Race Speech, which shows the process of creating a more perfect union through the changes made to the Constitution and through the powers delegated to each branch of government by the constitution. Ask your students to consider the role Obama’s Race Speech played in his election as President. Or, have your students consider the idea of a “more perfect union.” What changes would they make to the Constitution or current legislation?

The high school lesson plan can be found on the new website under supplemental materials. The lesson plan allows you and your students to look at the speech in conjunction with important Supreme Court cases and legislation, gaining a stronger historical background.

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