Free Essay with James Baldwin's Speech Response

Published: 2018-11-27
Free Essay with James Baldwin's Speech Response
Essay type:  Response essays
Categories:  Racism History
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1207 words
11 min read

Excellent speaking skills of James Baldwin

The speaker, James Baldwin, introduces himself as a black man in the city. I like the way he is proud of his race and identifies with it publicly. Many people are not proud of their origin, and they do not like to be associated with it. However, the speaker has a sense of belonging to his background, culture, and history. I particularly love the way he has his history at the back of his hand and listening keenly you can tell that he is so jovial to share his experience and history with the class. James Baldwin, in his speech, presents himself as an affable, energetic, and relevant. Rarely does he digress from the topic and his ability to express his saddest and sorriest thoughts in a jubilant way is remarkable. Needless to say, he is eloquent and has a good command of English. The fact that Baldwin was able to keep his audience alert is representative of his excellent speaking skills. His quality of argument and perspective on America's racism are entertaining yet very educative. It is even more interesting that although this film was made in London, 1969, the matters that James Baldwin discussed continue to affect the great nation of America. Below is a response paper to James Baldwin's speech.

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The saddest fact is, Baldwin's words are even more relevant today than when he said them. Things are even worse because the willfully ignorant and poorly informed white masses in the US willingly support a system that enslaves not just Blacks and Latinos, but themselves as well. The US middle class has been destroyed, and they participated in their demise. For the longest time now, the issue of racial profiling and discrimination against the blacks has been an issue in the U.S. Ever since the Jim Crow Era and the slave trade period, the blacks have always been treated as lesser humans by the white, and this has led to racial profiling in the western world. Same same but different,so a wise saying goes that is purposed to foster unity among people of different races as well as fight racismNevertheless, to present day, some people have a problem with embracing this. It was even worse during the Jim Crow era whereby racism was okay. African Americans were discriminated against in any social, political, and economic aspect. They were treated as second class citizens and the Jim Crow caste system allowed violence to be used to maintain them at this position, if necessary. Billboards, post signs, and other public media were used to enhance the segregation. The blacks were not allowed to use the same social amenities such as schools, hotels, and parks, as the whites due to their inferiority.

Intangible factors of segregation

Intangible factors of segregation included beliefs and practices. For instance, the blacks were not allowed to display affection as it would infuriate the whites publicly. According to Jim Crow, etiquette entailed introducing the blacks to the whites and never the other way round. The blacks were not considered to be that important to be introduced to the whites. Finally, the black people were not allowed the freedom of speech. For instance, they were not authorized to express or comment about the appearance of a white female. Neither could they overly demonstrate skill, knowledge or intelligence to the point of intimidating the whites.

There have been a lot of changes, documents, rules, leadership, and constitutional amendments that have punctuated the history of United States. Although the exact date of the beginning of the history remains a debatable issue among historians, most sources state it to be between 1492 and 1600. The country that was once a colony of European powers gained its independence on July 4th, 1776; a lot has changed since then. The Emancipation Proclamation was one of these changes. It is arguably in the list of top ten documents that shaped the history of the United States of America. However, this was one report that was met with so much controversy and thus, most misunderstood. To date, it remains unclear to many what emancipation proclamation was. The Emancipation Proclamation was a turning point for the blacks in America.

On January 1, 1863, the President of the United States of America issued an executive order called presidential proclamation. Abraham Lincoln, who was then the president, purposed to free all the slaves. During this period, there were more than 3 million slaves who were mainly oriented to the south. Lincoln was for the idea of a free nation, and this move that was to be effected immediately was a significant milestone in seeing to this. The proclamation was not without its challenges, the slaves had become tired of the lifestyle and had decided enough was enough. They were willing to do just about anything to earn the status of a free citizen. They had started a rebellious revolution in the south that soon broke out into a civil war. Lincoln was not pleased with this, and on September 22nd, 1862, he issued a preliminary proclamation. The Southerner's slaves were given three months to stop their rebellion after which the Proclamation would be effected entirely.

National African-American History Month

The former president of the United States of America, Barrack Obama, declared February a National African-American History Month. In his speech, he said that it is good to remember the activists who were so courageous and determined to steer America from slavery and racial discrimination. Obama, who was the nation's first African-American president acknowledged the founding fathers of America and their relentless support to make America a multiracial country. He was specifically excited by how history has bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. However, it is important to know the black experience and the significant role it played in shaping the politics and culture of United States of America. There are a lot of things that remain unknown to the current day Americans even when they blindly celebrate this month.

From the time the first slave ship docked in America, it is evident that the blacks have been in slavery longer than they have been free. The Emancipation Proclamation was therefore just a mere document that had minimal effect on the slave trade. Below are reasons why the proclamation was just a document, and it was not treated with the seriousness it deserved. First, the proclamation was issued twice meaning it was immediately effected and it was more of a pilot study to see the reaction it would spur among the American people especially the blacks. If Lincoln meant the proclamation to be taken seriously, once would have been enough and he would have seen to its enactment. However, it is evident that even after the second proclamation, the slave trade was still practiced. It felt like there was no proclamation at all because of the underlying reasons that led to its declaration. If this were an area of national importance to the president, he would not have issued a preliminary proclamation nor give an ultimatum for the issuance of the final proclamation. This means that if the blacks were not so relentless in fighting for their rights, the president was not willing to which is a frail leadership attribute.

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