Professor Dr. Raul Tovares
Com 392 Speechwriting
Assignment 5: The Policy Speech
Write a 7-8 page speech on an important policy issue.
A policy speech is a persuasive speech. It address a problem or issue and attempts to convince the audience to accept a course of action the speaker believes is the best answer to the problem. Policy speeches are never “one or the other,” but rather deal in gray areas. Most are structured in a “problem-solution” format. Credible sources are critical in this type of speech. Logic and reason serve as the basis for the arguments. The writing should be clear, concise, and to the point.
In a society were cultural differences exist, knowledge is pivotal to ensure that ignorance are limited. Changing the current curriculum of U.S. History to include Black History entails the exploration African/Black American heritage, achievements and contributions to todays society.
Change of this magnitude can proceed as Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. It is pivotal to know the heritage of African American because facts and accomplishment are often neglected or appropriated.
This paper will discuss the importance of introducing all schools with Black History throughout their U.S. History development. Also, discuss Black History being subject of criticism, innovative leaders and today’s continuous of cultural appropriation.
The New American History
On October of 2015, a 15 year old Texas student, Coby Burren informed his mother Roni Dean- Burren of a disturbing issue during his class lecture. Coby, using his hand held device informed his mother that within his Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills approved textbook conveyed slaves as workers. The McGraw Hill World Geography textbook states “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.” In a society were black people have been targeted as criminals, unintelligent or a pickaninny, Black History Month serves a purpose. Also, the current and highly publicized boycott against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and the implication of slaves as worker in educational texts serves a purpose for not just a month but Black History in mergence with U.S. History.
The Board of Education should change the curriculum of history to include African and African American History because it has greatly impacted America as we know it today. Since arriving African Americans have contributed and propelled Europeans to rise globally and progress in economic dominance. Still today people are cultural ignorant to black history and by incorporating this history would highlight more achievements contributed than currently offered February, a twenty-eight day month every annual year.
According to a PBS article written by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the production of cotton reigned King over the production of tobacco. Gates Jr. states “Once we understand the paramount economic importance of cotton to the economies of the United States and Great Britain, we can begin to appreciate the enormity of the achievements of the black and white abolitionists who managed to marshal moral support for the abolition of slavery.”
If there is anyone that questions Black history and it’s contributions. Think of the necessary change that is needed in the future and the purpose of history. In accordance with Hanover College History Department, the purpose of history is not only to present facts, interpret the past, but to attempt change when horrific patterns have been presented. We all known how imperative change is and the importance of an evolving nation. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court changed the course of history among children in public schools. Brown v. Board of Education, was seen by the Supreme Court as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and ended segregation within public schools. However, there is still segregation in school systems and that is presented thoroughly in the course material being taught and the lack of essential material being skimmed over, left out or left to a single-perspective.
Presently, history’s course materials taught in public schools are in desperate need of discussing, close examination and change. According to Christopher Scott, a fifth grade history teacher serving the state of Virginia, “The course material including textbooks somehow find a way of glossing over the truth, while mentioning the history of slavery the language used conveys in a way that to a fifth grader may look at the topic as secondary or not as heinous as scholars know it to have been. As a teacher I spend a lot of my time making sure that I stick to the curriculum and adding essential information. I never want to feel like I have influenced cultural ignorance among my students, especially since we live in such a diverse world.”
According to the District of Columbia’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education, children are exposed to the Age Of Exploration as early as fourth grade .The Age of Exploration, which entails the travel of European ships searching for new trading routes are taught. Topics of Henry the Navigator exploration of the West Coast of Africa and Christopher Columbus voyage of the blue sea are all discussed in full detail. In fact, the curriculum of social studies from K through twelfth grade provides in detail what must be covered throughout the school year. The curriculum appears to be taught in a chronological sequence; however, the accounts of the first slaves arriving in 1619 to Jamestown, Virginia is not mention or left to the teacher to discuss. This is the start of cultural ignorance, the lack of material approved to be taught to children will only manifest itself into a bigger issue in society. How do we expect these children to grow up and become aware of cultural difference, customs, and struggles when it is not being taught in an educational institution? Educational institutions purposes are to develop strong characters, innovative thinkers, efficient and effective leaders in the world and general awareness.
The history that was stripped from blacks hundreds of years ago should be taught to give general awareness to blacks, whites and other minorities. According to Karren Warrington, writer for The President’s House in Philadelphia discusses a personal experience, “Once I was browsing in the book department of the now-closed Gimbels department store, and a white salesperson asked me what I was looking for. I explained that I was in search of books on African history. Her response was, ‘Oh, honey, Africans have no history.’” This demonstrate lack of knowledge and the critical need to implement the now generation with additional learning material. But can you blame her for that ignorance, we should blame the educational institute in which she graduated. We should also blame ourselves, the citizens for not demanding a change…….
Conway, M. (2015, March 16). The Problem with History Classes. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/the-problem-with-history-classes/387823/
Howard, A. (2016, January 22). The Black History Month Debate is Back. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/the-problem-with-history-classes/387823/
Kulikoff, A. (1986). Tobacco and slaves: The development of southern cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800. Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia by the University of North Carolina Press.
Luttemer, F. (1996, January). Why Study History? : History Department : Hanover College. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from https://history.hanover.edu/why.php
Social Studies Standards. (2011, July 20). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://osse.dc.gov/publication/social-studies-standards
Office of the State Superintendent of Education PDF standards for Social Studies K-12.
W., R. (2009, January). Why Black History is important? Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.blackhistorystudies.com/resources/articles/why-black-history/
Warrington, K. (2005, June 14). African American history must be taught. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.ushistory.org/presidentshouse/news/inq061405.htm
Scott, C. (2016, April 1), Informational Interview