Paired Texts > RFK's Speech Following the Death of MLK
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
On the evening of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old African American boy from Florida, was fatally shot by a George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and was found "not guilty" by a jury in July of 2013. These are the remarks of President Barack Obama after the trial.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “President Obama Remarks Upon Trayvon Martin Ruling” and ask students to discuss how far America has come in regards to racism and violent discrimination, as well as what can still be done to improve racial equality for all.
On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, leading to the death of its seven crewmembers. The nation was stunned after this horrifying incident—about 17% of the nation watched it live on television. That same day, President Ronald Reagan delivered this speech to the grieving nation.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “Ronald Reagan on the Challenger Disaster” and ask students to compare how the two speeches address disaster and encourage America to learn and heal from it.
The informational text "Martin Luther King, Jr." explores the life of King and his contributions to fighting inequality through nonviolent means.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “Martin Luther King, Jr.” to provide students with additional information regarding King’s death. How did the nation respond to this tragedy? Which values that King preached remained strong after his death?
In Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic speech "I Have a Dream," he discusses the state of racism throughout the nation and his hopes for freedom and equality in America.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “I Have a Dream” and ask students to discuss the impacts of King’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. How does Kennedy portray King and the contributions he made in his speech? How does this depiction of King’s efforts compare to the intentions he discusses in “I Have a Dream?”
In "Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech," King accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech” to provide students with additional information on the contributions that King made to the Civil Rights Movement. How does Kennedy’s speech reflect on and expand on some of the ideas that King discusses in his speech?
In "Monkeyman," a teenager watches his friend stand up to a neighborhood gang and learns a powerful lesson about courage.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “Monkeyman” and ask students to discuss the way both texts show someone reacting to violence. What choice does Kennedy say people must make in the face of violence? What did Monkeyman choose when faced with violence? Do you think Kennedy would approve of Monkeyman’s choices?
In "Harvey Milk Lives!", Thomas Pool describes the life and career of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist and politician, who continues to inspire people to fight for equal rights.Pair “RFK’s Speech Following the Death of MLK” with “Harvey Milk Lives!” to provide students with a speech from Senator Robert F. Kennedy following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ask students to discuss how the United States was impacted by the assassinations of Milk and King. Both Milk and King were fighting for equality. Do you think their premature deaths prevented them from causing positive change? Why or why not?