Barack Obama’s Speech on Race Read it here:

A. What ideas from the speech given by Barack Obama on March 18, 2008 particularly interested, moved, surprised or puzzled you or raised questions that you would like to have answered?
  • Annotate those segments with comments, questions and/or reactions.
  • Highlight 2-3 passages in the speech that are particularly critical.
  • Bring them to class for our discussion.




B. In class we will talk about these questions and attempt to answer them:
  • What was he trying to accomplish with these words?
  • To what historical events or documents does he refer in his speech?
  • What event or issue led Barack Obama to make his speech?
  • Why is each relevant to the issues Obama is raising in the speech?
  • What comment does Barack Obama make about race relations and the way issues of race are discussed in the United States?
  • How relevant are these issues to your own lives?
  • How relevant are they to the 2008 presidential campaign?

C. After the discussion in class, consider the following questions by writing your response here.
  • To what extent do you think Obama's speech might influence the way people talk about race and/or change race relations in the United States?
  • To what extent do you think Obama's family history factors into his perspective on race in America?