Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

RESOURCE SHEET
Excerpt, Barack Obama Victory Speech
November 4, 2008

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations.
But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in
Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their
voice heard in this election except for one thing—Ann Nixon Cooper is 106
years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars
on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two
reasons—because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in Ameri-
ca—the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we
were told that we can’t; and the people who pressed on with that American
creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she
lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she
saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, and a new sense of
common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she
was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was
saved. Yes we can.

-197-

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