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Living the American Dream from Martin Luther King to Barack Obama

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Zita Hüsing

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Living the American Dream from Martin Luther King to Barack Obama

“I have a dream, that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. “

the "Jim Crow" laws in the Southern States of the US (since 1884):
"segregation" for African-Americans
murder of Emmett Till (August 1955)

Rosa Parks got arrested for her bus protest (December 1955)

•November 4, 2008: election as the first black president of the United States
•January 20, 2009: inauguration of Barack Obama
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
Living the American Dream
an example for segregation
the Civil Rights Act
Is America
a post-racial
society after
the election
of Obama?

Characteristics of
the American Dream:
Discrimination is still a fact
in America's society
With a strong will & hard work anybody can go "from rags to riches" - this is the "American spirit".
based on the "inalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" cf the Declaration of Independence (1776)
Dream of a classless society
A dream of racial equality!
beginning of the Civil Rights movement
36.3 mio African-Americans in the USA
(12 % of the entire population):
66 % are middle class
33% are living in the slums of the big cities
43% graduate with a college education
25% of inmates held in custody are
material values:
a high standard of living

immaterial values:
unlimited opportunity

absolute individual freedom
(e.g. in religion)

fulfillment of one's potential

equality and equal protection
map of the states where the Civil Rights movement took place

Characteristics of the American Dream

The impact of the American Dream on

1) the Civil Rights Movement
2) the presidency of Barack Obama

the American Dream today

the Diary of Anne Frank//1959
Armes Amerika – Arme Welt (ein Pamphlet) from Erwin Chargaff// published 1994
Words in Context//3. Auflage 2010:
Freedom Writers (from the Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell)// published 1999
An Audacity of hope - Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama// 2006
Rosa Parks and her protest for Civil Rights// 2002

Martin Luther King Jr: "I have a dream" //28 August 1963
Barack Obama: "Reclaiming the American Dream"// 7 november 2007 in Iowa
Barack Obama: Inaugural address // 20 January 2009

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: (by Amnesty International)

Giant// 1956
Secret of my Success// 1987
Ray// 2004
from Martin Luther King Jr.
to Barack Obama

“Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty,
we are free at last!”
there are challenges are to face:
climate change
global competition
the health-care system
the battle against terrorism
global poverty
Values of the American Dream
The American Dream today
“We must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off,
and begin again the work of remaking America.
The world has changed,
and we must change with it.”
Barack Obama
by Jeremy Deveraturda
Can we "reclaim" the American Dream?
reflection of the values of the American
Dream in the Civil Rights movement:
standing up for
the disadvantaged
leader of the Civil Rights Movement
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
causes of the Civil Rights Movement
March on Washington:
The reverend Martin Luther King Jr. addresses 300.000 participants with his famous speech "I have a dream"
(28 August 1963)
The impact of the American Dream on the
presidency of Barack Obama
The impact of the American Dream
on the Civil Rights movement:
the Voting Rights Act
a non-violent
a raise of public anger
in the black population
from the book
"Freedom Writers":
"I've lost many friends, friends
who have died in an undeclared war. "
How would that make you feel?
Does it apply to everyone?
influences of the American Dream all over the world
the American way of life is present
in films
in products
in music

They want their piece of the
American Dream!

Americans think of their form of government
as the best one
envy & hatred by the other countries

the American Dream has become a nightmare for many Americans since the economic crisis in 2008 - Americans have lived beyond their means:
the gap between the rich and the poor
widens in America
Full transcript