English 122 – Section 78
Formal Essay 1 - Final Draft
March 21, 2013
The inaugural speech of President Barack Obama is written in a pretty simple language, understandable for all people. It was aimed to reach a wide audience of people of different nationalities, cultures and languages who make up the population of the United States of America. And I think it has reached its goals quite effectively.
His strong message came in the first paragraph when he stated that “what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names”. With this introduction to his speech, he made sure to call the attention of every listener in the nation. The main theme is an attempt to encourage people to turn their faces to each other, to become truly united in what they are doing, and to work together closely in order to overcome the crises that the country and the world are currently facing. It was addressed to people of different races, religions, and social statuses, people who have very little in common. “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
Seneca Falls, New York, is recognized as the birthplace of the U.S. feminist movement and the site of the first organized call for women's suffrage in1848. The Seneca Falls Convention created the first women’s movement and gain right on their own names which represented the start of a great fight over being recognized as an equal human being to men. They were gaining access in many different areas: political, legal and cultural. It was that same year in 1848 that the Legislature of New York passed a Married Women’s Property Law which stated that women’s property would be protected in marriage by women’s rights (Joan Hoff-Wilson 128).
The Stonewall Riots were a series of violent protests against police harassment by the Gay community of New York City in 1969. The riots managed to explain to the world that the gay community was oppressed, and that they were not going to take it anymore. Stonewall is commonly referred to as the ‘spark’ that started the Gay Liberation Movement, which had a profound effect on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) liberation movement and its fight for equality.
Selma, Alabama, is where Martin Luther King Jr. and members of the civil rights movement were brutally attacked by state police who used horses, whips, tear gas, and clubs to try to end a peaceful march to the state capital in 1965. This violence was broadcast on national television. The images of Alabama law enforcement beating the nonviolent protesters were shown all over the country and the world by television networks and newspapers. The visuals of such brutality being carried out by the state of Alabama, helped shift the image of the segregationist movement from one of a movement trying to preserve the social order of the South to a system of state endorsed