Topic

The topic of Barack Obama's “A More Perfect Union” is race relations.

The speech was part of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign of 2008, and was largely a response to an incident involving Obama’s reverend who made some hateful statements about white Americans.

Race relations

Barack Obama explores race relations in the US, taking on a historical perspective. His main arguments are that racial tensions are a result of “this nation's original sin of slavery” (ll. 13-14) and subsequent social and economic discrimination against African Americans: “…that so many of the disparities that exist between the African-American community and the larger American community today can be traced directly to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation…” (ll. 236-239)

To explore the topic, he makes references to the US Constitution, which was intended to grant US citizens equal rights but which excluded slaves. He goes on to discuss the years of segregation (whites and blacks livin...

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