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Summary Beispiel

Comprehension: Point out the main aspects President Obama emphasizes in his speech with your own words. (=Summary)

In his speech with regard to the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches on the 7th March 2015, the current President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, refers to the achievements of the Civil Rights Movements in America and talks about the present situation of immigrants in the USA.
With his speech Obama addresses primary the attendant audience, but also the whole American population (especially the Black population) with the intention to show that Selma has been a turning point of a fair present, even its aims have not been fulfilled completely. Therefore it is necessary to continue working on an even greater future.

For President Obama the people, who were fighting for civil rights 50 years ago, are decisive in reaching equal rights in America. Making historical references to the protesters and founding documents he stresses that their effort has been truly unselfish and successful. With the movements of the Marches in Selma the participants have been role-models to many other minorities and disadvantaged people. Emphasizing that the movements are strongly connected to the beginning of American history and that, because of their effort, every single state-member, no matter in which ethnic group one belongs, is now regarded as equated to the law, Obama denies a statement towards the current riots in Ferguson, that only a little has changed in America. In Obama’s opinion a lot has changed and the situation in Ferguson is a rarity. Moreover he stresses that the March has never been stopped, because there are remaining challenges to reach full equality. By mentioning the achievements the USA have made so far and by referring to famous slogans at the end of his speech, they should secure these challenges to improve the nation as a unit, because all Americans have been immigrants in the past.

Summary Beispiel – Ausgangstext

Excerpt from President Barack Obama’s speech at the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches on March 7th, 2015

Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches (7th March 2015)
Among others Martin Luther King organized in 1965 three marches from Selma to Montgomery (both cities in Alabama) in order to fight for equal rights. During these marches one person was killed and at least 600 badly wounded by the police and the white population.  50 years later US-President Barack Obama looks back on these marches. […]

The Americans who crossed this bridge, they were not physically imposing. But they gave courage to millions. They held no elected office. But they led a nation. They marched as Americans who had endured hundreds of years of brutal violence, countless daily indignities- but they didn’t seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before. That’s why Selma is the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents: “We the people… in order to form a more perfect union.” “We hold these truth to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” […]

The American instinct that led these young men and women to pick up the torch and cross this bridge, that’s the same instinct that moved patriots to choose revolution over tyranny. It’s the same instinct that drew immigrants from across oceans. Because of what they did, the doors of opportunity swung open not just for black folks, but for every American. Women marched through those doors. Latinos marched through those doors. Asian Americans, gay Americans, Americans with disabilities- they all came through those doors. What a glorious thing Dr. King might say. […]

Just this week, I was asked whether I thought Ferguson shows that, with respect to the race, little has changed in this country. And I understood the question; the story was sadly familiar. It evoked the kind of abuse and disregard for citizens that spawned the Civil Rights Movement. But I rejected the notion that nothing’s changed. What happened in Ferguson may not be unique, but it’s no longer endemic. It’s no longer sanctioned by law or by custom. We know that the march is not yet over. We know the race is not yet won. We know that reaching that blessed destination where we are judged, all of us, by the content of our character requires facing up to the truth.For we were born of change. We broke the old aristocracies, declaring ourselves entitled not by bloodline, but endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. We secure our rights and responsibilities through a system of self-government, of and by and for the people. We’re the immigrants who stowed away on ships to reach these shores, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. […]

Because Selma shows us that America is not the project of one person. Because the single-most powerful word in our democracy is the word “We”. “We the People”. “We shall overcome.” “Yes We can.” That word is owned not by one. It belongs to everyone. Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. […]

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