"Going to the Source" Analysis - Essay Example

Published: 2023-09-20
"Going to the Source" Analysis -  Essay Example
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Racism Analysis American history Books
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1087 words
10 min read

Brown and Shannon provide numerous sources that offer a rich collection of information concerning America’s past. Among those that have been chosen for analysis include “Barack Obama Reflects on Race in America,” “Dust Bowl Diary: Life on the Great Plains in the 1930s”, “Women War Workers of Color,” and “Images of Vietnam.” These sources have been selected because they are intriguing in the topic they cover. The analysis will also be done on the sources to determine their value in capturing the country’s historical moments.

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Source 1: Barack Obama Reflects on Race in America

This source provides an excerpt from a speech given by President Barack Obama during the 2008 camping. During this period, Reverend Phillip Wright, who was a pastor that President Obama had attended, had harshly criticized racism in America and even criticized the entire country concerning the topic. Thus, President Barack Obama had to give his sentiments and thoughts on the Pastor's point of view of racism by giving a speech on the past of America and the racism topic. Barack Obama began the speech by introducing his background and that of his family. He stated that he born by a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya "Many document readers offer lots of sources, but only Going to the Source combines a rich selection of primary sources with in-depth instructions for how to use each type of source. Mirroring the chronology of the U.S. history survey, each chapter familiarizes students with a single type of source while focusing on an intriguing historical episode such as the Cherokee Removal or the 1894 Pullman Strike. Students practice working with a diverse range of source types including photographs, diaries, oral histories, speeches, advertisements, political cartoons, and more. A capstone chapter in each volume prompts students to synthesize information on a single topic from a variety of source types. The wide range of topics and sources across 28 chapters provides students with all they need to become fully engaged with America's history."(Brown and Shannon 913). He also noted that his wife is African American, and the blood of slavery runs in her blood. Obama further added that the disparities that blacks in America face are due to slavery and the Jim Crow laws.

Moreover, blacks were angry because of their dark past. Hence, there was a need for all races to unite to instigate the healing process of slavery. Obama noted that whites were also angry because some of them, especially the middle class, did not have the same privilege as others even though they were white. Additionally, Obama addressed Pastor Wright's utterances, stating that his words meant that America was static, yet that was not the case.


The source above helps understand America's history by attempting to explain the origin of racism and their impact in the country. Obama explains that slavery and Jim Crow laws instigated slavery and discrimination against blacks, which is the primary cause of anger among blacks. Therefore, this source gives detailed information concerning the current state of affairs in the United States about its past.

Source 2: Dust Bowl Diary: Life on the Great Plains in the 1930s

This source discusses the dirt storms that occurred in the 1930s. The contents are told from the perspective of a schoolteacher by the name Ann Marie Low. Ms. Low explains that the dirt storms experienced in that period were the worst that they had ever seen. She recalls, “It was a Saturday, and we had to wash the utensils severally before we could use them” (Brown and Shannon 696). The lands were dry. No farming could take place, and cattle were dying. It was an ordeal that she did know how they could keep going.


This source helps understand America’s past by painting a picture of how bad things were during the great depression. The expert not only gives an account of the cause but also the effects of the great depression. An individual who was not present can get to visualize a mental image of the damages that the dirt storm had on the economy of the country during the great depression.

Source 3: Women War Workers of Color

This source narrates the story of one African American woman by the Rose, the Riveter, who moved from 65 cents an hour to $1 an hour during the second world war. The source explains that there were many departments in the firm that Ms. Rose was hired to work. However, blacks were accumulated in Department seventeen, where they handled riveting works (Brown and Shannon 734). After three weeks, Ms. Rose could take, so she went back to the union, and she was given benchmarking work, where her salary later rose to $1 per hour.


This source is essential in describing America’s past in that it portrays a clear picture of how thought things were back then for black women. It shows how they had to endure difficult work to sustaining themselves and their families. This situation demonstrates the long past that America has had to date.

Source 4: Images of Vietnam

This source depicts the severity of the Vietnam War in which the United States was part. In this source, two images are portrayed: One of a young girl who is naked and devastated running for her life and another of a Vietnamese soldier executing a prisoner (Brown and Shannon 825).


Even though this source comprises mainly of pictures, the information contained is much more substantial. The source reminds the country of the deadly battles that it has had to fight to reach where it is at today. The source also depicts a clear image of how bad the Vietnam war was and the culprits of such atrocities.


As discussed above, the sources "Barack Obama Reflects on Race in America," "Dust Bowl Diary: Life on the Great Plains in the 1930s", "Women War Workers of Color," and "Images of Vietnam" contain valuable historical information. The source "Barack Obama Reflects on Race in America" reflects race and slavery, while "Dust Bowl Diary: Life on the Great Plains in the 1930s" captures the atmosphere of the great depression's atmosphere. The sources "Women War Workers of Color" and "Images of Vietnam" contain information concerning the struggle of black women during World War 2 and the severity of the Vietnam War.

Works Cited

Brown, Victoria Bissell, and Timothy J. Shannon. Going to the Source, Volume I: To 1877: The Bedford Reader in American History. 9th ed., BEDFORD BOOKS, 2019.

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