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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Communications & Media
English (U.S.)
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Media Artifacts that Changed Us: Martin Luther King Jr (Essay Sample)


The Assignment:
In a well-developed five-page analysis (double-spaced, 12 pt. font, AP style), describe how a specific media artifact (e.g., a film, television documentary or series episode, concert/musical work, public speech, video, mediated news story, play, radio program, painting, photograph, etc. produced two of three significant changes: 
1).Produced a significant impact or change on an aspect of American or world culture; 
2).Served as a symbol or iconic representation that helped to identify or describe a time in history or contemporary life; 
3).Produced a change in your own attitudinal or behavioral framework.
Place your subject in appropriate context. For example, if your subject is the latest film by a particular director, you may first describe what other significant films he/she has previously directed. Or, you may choose to focus on the genre of the film or media artifact (for example, trends in related documentary filmmaking). You could also create a perspective for your chosen media artifact through a description of surrounding social or historical events. Other methods of building an opening perspective include: commenting on critical response of credible experts; awards and other forms of recognition; influence from or on other artifacts common to the subject or genre; similar or different interpretations of the subject in the same of other genres; surrounding social and economic influences; precedents in the genre or subject; public vs. critical response; current and/or lasting impact Important—your ability to convey such perspective magnifies the credibility of your analysis and expertise in handling holistic elements of critical analysis. 
Provide an objective summary description of your film or artifact. In this step, avoid critical judgment. Focus on a straightforward description (e.g., plotlines, characters, highlights, or other aspects of basic content).
Develop two of the three perspectives listed above; 
(e.g., (1) describe how your subject had a broad effect on changing or influencing social/cultural attitudes and/or behavior;
(2) describe how your subject serves as a representative symbol or icon of a time, place, or movement; 
(3) describe how your subject produced a change in your personal attitudes and/or behaviors. 
Lastly, and central to the assignment, define, apply and explain in detail at least three theories or concepts to deconstruct the elements of applied persuasion exhibited by your chosen media artifact.
To enhance the development of your paper, also consider citing commentary that scholars or critics have applied to your subject. Comparing the subject to other media artifacts in the same or similar genre will also add dimension to your analysis. 

Media Artifacts that Changed Us:
I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King Jr.
Several decades ago, racial discrimination was deep-rooted in the US. Most people were judged unfairly and subjected to inhumane conditions while languishing in abject poverty just because of the color of their skin. A young Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martin Luther King Jr. led a revolt over racism. On 28th August 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech on racial discrimination in America. The speech dubbed ‘I Have a Dream,' has been referred to as the greatest speech of the 20th century CITATION Han15 \l 1033 (Walton and Smith). Martin Luther King (MLK) addressed a mammoth crowd in readiness to march and push the administration to restructure the legal structure and recognize them as equal citizens. His contribution to racial reforms have been echoed the world over, and he has remained an iconic figure globally for his immeasurable and selfless contribution towards racial diversity. The speech he delivered in Lincoln Memorial revamped the struggle for freedom and equality of people in America.
Racial discrimination was deep-rooted in America and Blacks were treated as second-class citizens. They had poor representation in the government, and the judicial system was tolerant to the unfair treatment of Blacks all around the country despite few legislations that protected Black lives like the Emancipation Proclamation. The society's perception of a racially diverse country was disheartening. Jim Crow laws had socially stratified the people and some, like the Blacks, had lived in abject poverty and poor government representation. The speech delivered by MLK addressed each of the challenges facing the Blacks and encouraged them to act and stand up for the government to demand fair representation and recognition under the law. He charged them to fight for their future generations to live in a cohesive and collaborative country in which their skin color does not separate them but rather be their pride and a sign of cultural diversity.
In his speech, MLK encourages his supporters to take part in demanding for their civil rights and abolition of racial discrimination. It was a move echoed world over though racism has not been completely obliterated. The speech has become an iconic reference for the struggle for the abolition of racial segregation around the world. The speech called for a non-violent approach to justice and had reinvigorated many to use it against oppressive regimes especially regarding social status. MLK addressed civil rights especially of the Blacks and the struggles of racial diversity and equality. In his speech, he used analogies common to Americans to illustrate his appoints and convey his message in simple terms. He drew some historical facts to embolden his points on racial discrimination. In his memorable speech, he uses language to elicit emotion and feelings that shook the perception of racists while encouraging his supporters to push for immediate judicial and legislative reforms. His well-orchestrated speech has left an indelible mar...
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