Homework Help

I need to write a speech on racism. Any ideas on how to start it and any...

user profile pic

sm123 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 27, 2009 at 10:26 PM via web

dislike 0 like

I need to write a speech on racism. Any ideas on how to start it and any information I can put into the speech?

Thank you in advance for the help.

9 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

elfgirl | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted April 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Here is a very very famous speech about racism from The Merchant of Venice, a play by William Shakespeare. The first version is in old language and is a bit difficult. The second version is in modern English. I hope you can fins a way to use them.

He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew: hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, armed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? why, revenge. The villany you teach me I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

and the modern version of that is...

He has disgraced me and insulted me half a million times; laughed at my losses, joked about my gains, insulted my religion, crossed my deals, cooled my friends, heated my enemies. And what's his reason? I am a Jew. Doesn’t a Jew have eyes? Doesn’t a Jew have hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you stick us, don’t we bleed? If you tickle us, don’t we laugh? If you poison us, don’t we die? And if you wrong us, shouldn’t we seek revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we’ll resemble you in that. If a Jew wrongs a Christian, what is his option? Revenge. If a Christian wrongs a Jew, what should his choice be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I’ll use; and it shall be hard but I’ll make the lesson better.

user profile pic

dswain001 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted April 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

Before you begin your paper, brainstorm for a bit the subject of racism. Ask yourself: "How do I feel about this issue? Have I ever experienced racism first hand? Has my family or any of my friends?" Personal anecdotes are always a good way to start off. By taking ownership of the topic, your thoughts will flow more freely.

I also suggest you read up on what others have said about the topic. People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy, Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt worked diligently to ensure that race relations in the United States changed.

Here are some quotes that may be useful to you:

John F. Kennedy

" This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds...on the principle that all men were created equal."

Eleanor Roosevelt

"We have never been willing to face this problem, to line it up with the basic underlying beliefs of Democracy. "

"One of the main destroyers of freedom is out attitude towards the colored race."

Barack Obama:

"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America - there's the United States of America."

At the beginning of his term, President Barack Obama gave a very moving speech on racism in America. Reading or watching it may help you write and deliver your own speech. The link below will help you find video of the speech.

user profile pic

tea-aye-inn- | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

Whenever you do write this paper I believe you should stay factual and not take sides. Whatever you do dont sway away from the purpose of writing the piece, make sur there is no bias involved.

To start off I think you should begin with a definition of racism and then give examples of how it can effect the victim.

user profile pic

drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted April 30, 2009 at 7:48 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

I'm assuming that you will also give the speech to an audience after you write it. What I do whenever I have to prepare a speech is think first about who my audience is, then second about the length of time I'll be speaking. The next thing I contemplate is the effect I want for my words to have on the audience.

Borrowing stirring quotations from other authors and speakers is a time-tested way to engage an audience--just be sure to give them credit in your speech so you don't inadvertently plagiarize.

The two best opportunities you have to touch your audience's emotions are in the opening and the closing.

Good luck!

user profile pic

osyadams | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 6, 2009 at 6:32 PM (Answer #6)

dislike 0 like

The most important thing when giving a speech on a given subject is to accumulate as much knowledge as possible about that subject. First, make sure you consult at least two dictionaries or encyclopedias for the definition of racism and then read a little bit of history about the matter. When you think you have a good idea of what you are going to talk about, ask yourself: Do I want this to be an exclusively informative speech? Do I want to take a position and convince my audience of something? Whatever position you take, make sure you do not base your arguments or hearsay. In other words, that you are not just repeating what others have told you about it, but that you have thought deeply about your ideas. There are many myths about the role of racism in American society. There are many people who believe nothing has changed and that we are still living in the 1960s. But that is obviously not the case. Recent developments in American politics are good indication that the US has experienced positive change in this regard. Although racism still exists, Americans have made substantial progress on this issue. In short, reflect and ask yourself questions about the facts and myths involving racism. I hope you do well.

user profile pic

alohaspirit | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted June 9, 2009 at 7:28 PM (Answer #7)

dislike 0 like

Pose this question: How can racism lead to the downfall of America?

user profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:45 PM (Answer #8)

dislike 0 like

Start with say, the Dred Scott decision, and write how the country was righted like a ship after that horrible decision. Then find incidents of things like that happening, and come up with ways to fight against it.

user profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted June 16, 2010 at 8:03 AM (Answer #9)

dislike 0 like

Racism is a very broad subject. It is important to discuss historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and his thoughts on racism. He was very pro non-violence so that is a very important aspect to touch on.

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 27, 2011 at 1:02 PM (Answer #10)

dislike 0 like
I would begin by making racism relevant to your life. You can describe a time when you or someone you know has been a victim of racism, for example. For information to put in the speech, I would consider picking a specific element of racism to explore. Racism is such a broad topic that your speech will be meaningless unless you have a unique angle. You might consider racism and youth, effects of racism, or links between racism and class.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes