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Sandy, Jaime, Mariela, Christiana, Samantha, Natalie.


Group Members and Roles

  • Jaime - Speech writer, debating ideas, debate
    BW.jpg
    "Black and white -- make the balance right!"
  • Christina - Speech giver, print journalist
  • Sandy - Facebook, print journalist
  • Mariela - Both PSA's, photography
  • Natalie- Photoshop, debate
  • Samantha - Mailer, brochure

Group Slogan

Black and white make the balance right.


What Your Group Wants -- Plan for New Constitution

Slaves to gain the same human rights that is granted to the white people.

Bullet Points of Your Plan

  • Abolish slavery
  • Give black people same rights as white people
  • Unify the country


Orator: Text of Your Speech





My fellow countrymen – you fine representatives – you noble delegates – you revolutionary gentlemen – today is the day for us all to look past what is easy and to instead choose what is right. I am here not to hamper your economy or to ruin your plantations – no, that is not why I have come to this very fine congregation on this very momentous day. Instead, I have come to speak to you all on what should be looked upon as one of the most important issues of our fledgling nation – human rights.


The bible, that one holy book, gave to us three laws that hold universal respect – you shall not murder, you shall not steal, and you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. If the world were a perfect place, then there would be no need for such commandments. However, as people are not yet the morally perfect beings they would need to be to coexist peacefully in a world without laws, I am sure you all can concede that such laws are necessary. Indeed, one might suppose that the breaking of laws such as these was what led us to cast off the domineering rule of Britain. I know that I, at least, would not stand to live in a lawless country where the murderous masses thieving ways were allowed to run amuck, unchecked by governmental authority.

For who would want to live so unprotected by the one body meant to provide for all of its charges? Who would dare to stay in a place where the fruit of their labor could be stolen from them, where their basic human dignity could be stripped from them, where their very lives could be taken from them? Who would want their children to be raised on the discordant screams of the abused, the harmonious moans of the oppressed, the dull beat of the cruel whip?

I'll tell you who.

You.

Because every time you look at a black man and think, "slave", you are not contributing to the economy; you are contributing to the war against human rights – the war against our rights. Every time you look at a black man or woman or child and see nothing other than another plot of tobacco, you are denying the very reason we separated from Britain in the first place, you are denying our very call to independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" – does this statement ring a bell? Or did it slip your mind, the same way the Bible's phrase "Love thy neighbor" did when you walked right on past the black people's cry for help when you bought their slave-labored goods?

We went to war clamoring, "No taxation without representation!" but what representations have they? The enslavement of an entire people is no light matter. We were almost nothing when compared to Britain at the start of our Revolutionary War – we were a ragtag bunch of farmers with guns against one of the most sophisticated countries in the world. We were not fighting to keep our children from being sold, to keep our wives from being traded, to keep ourselves from being worked to the bone – indeed, compared to the injustices heaped upon the black populace, our grievances were comparatively trifling.

But we won.

And now, who is to say that if nothing is done – if we fine noble delegates do not deign to speak rightly for those who currently have no say at all – if we fine gentlemen do not dare to ensure basic rights for those much more oppressed than we have ever been – who is to say that they won't rise up against us, their seemingly insurmountable oppressors, and win?

After all, you can't say it hasn't happened before.

So, if you won't let the children persuade you, if you won't let your conscience sway you, if you won't let your compassion rule you, then at least let your fear speak for you.

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Debater: Possible Objections to Plan and Your Repliesdebate-p1-crispusattucks.jpg

Opponents' Objections:
  • Slaves are like children, they are unruly and uncivilized
  • We need slaves for our economics
  • If they are freed, they wouldn't know what to do or where to go
  • They need to be disciplined
  • Uneducated people

Our Replies:
  • Slavery is a moral transgression of the highest magnitude; it will bring retribution from God.
  • If slaves are legally defined as "chattel" and have no more rights than cattle, than they should not be used for representation in Congress by South.
  • Federal government should take the lead in restricting slavery and importation of slaves immediately towards the goal of its natural eventual extinction.
  • Slaves count as 3/5th of the people voting and taxing Slaves helped us fight for our freedom Slaveryis a violation of the American principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit ofhappiness.

Why Our Plan is Good:

Our plan is good because we are doing the right thing by freeing slaves. We are the moral crusaders of the 18th century. We are concerned with the well-being of all of God's creatures and their eternal souls, rather than being consumed by the siren-sound of money. *cough cough* Dixiecrats *cough.*

Print Journalist: Write Up of Convention Activity

It was a blisteringly hot day on May 14th, 1787. So hot, even the bravest of men felt faint from the heat, but that did not stop the meeting of the federal convention. Despite the record temperature, these men assembled in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, coming from 7 different states. Their objective was to revise the Articles of Confederation, but they would soon find themselves working on a different task.
James Madison, representing the Virginia Plan, began the meeting by declaring, “…we are to face a new enemy, and he, stronger, more cunning, and more influential than that of our recently repelled dictatorship…This enemy is present in our wives, present in our children, present in our churches, and present in our homes.” The enemy that he spoke of was disunity. He claimed that pride was what ended British rule, and if not remedied in our own nation, would be the downfall of our government, unless a strong central government was instituted. He seemingly pleaded with his audience to cast off the “silly affairs of differing trade tariffs, minority rule, and the land grab that has infected the west where our own brothers fight for wilderness,” and pointed out that our congress “lacks the ability to do anything of great significance without being called a return of King George.” He argued that “what we need [is] the Virginia Plan,” a plan that would give citizens “equal representation without being granted too much or too little of it,” a plan that gives everyone an “equal say in government.”
The New Jersey Plan upheld that "One legislative body with equal representation for all would eliminate the possibility of another Shay's Rebellion, because the colonies would be united under one legislature,” but they also believed that “the New Jersey Plan reflects the belief that all states are independent entities, and as they entered the United States freely and individually, so they ought to remain free and individual."
Benjamin Franklin of the Great Compromise reminisced about a time when we “were simply thirteen colonies,” but became a nation with the defeat of Great Britain; how we “pledged our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to this cause.” He recognized, though, that our country is on the verge of collapse, and professed to understand where the two sides – The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan – were coming from. Virginia just freed itself from a country where the few dictated the many, and they do not want to be overshadowed by smaller states, but New Jersey felt that with the Virginia Plan, they would have little to no representation.The Great Compromise wished to combine both plans, and proposed “a house of representatives in which each state has a number of representatives, relative to their population” for Virginia, and “a senate with equal representation in which each state, is represented by two senators, regardless of their state population” for New Jersey. Franklin depicted a future where the British are met with “little resistance from a land so divided as ours,” and the colonies are reclaimed. He urged us to “prove them wrong” though, to show them that “we do not need royal blood to run a country.” He pleaded with us to “compromise for peace, compromise for freedom, compromise for yourself, compromise for your children, compromise for America.”
The morally righteous Crispus Attucks Coalition group advocated the abolishing of slavery, and suggested that there were other ways around getting work done. They argued that slavery is immoral and pointed out the fact that “we were almost nothing when compared to Britain at the start of our Revolutionary War – we were a ragtag bunch of farmers with guns against one of the most sophisticated countries in the world. We were not fighting to keep our children from being sold, to keep our wives from being traded, to keep ourselves from being worked to the bone,” but we won anyway, even with lesser grievances than those of the slaves. The Crispus Attucks Coalition aptly noted that if we could rebel against one of the strongest leaders of the world, the slaves could too rise up against their “seemingly insurmountable oppressors” and win. The group upheld that abolishing slavery would be the key to achieving national unity and strengthening the United States of America.
Charles Pinckney of the greedy Dixiecrat Bloc started off with the same idea as the rest of the groups: that “we lack agreement, we lack accord, we lack harmony, unison, union; we lack unity.” The Dixiecrats took a slightly different approach to solving the problem though. Pinckney argued that “the country will fail unless Negroes are for sale,” and they demanded a 2/3 majority to pass any legislature. The Dixiecrats seemed to agree with everyone else on the fact that if our country does not unify, we will fall, but they did not believe that abolishing slavery or adding it to the constitution would be useful.
The fiery debate began with the opening statements of each group. The Virginia Plan proposed that representation should be based off of population. New Jersey declared that we should not return to principles, arguing America should have one legislative body that would have equal representation for all of the colonies, despite size. They then pointed fingers at the Virginia plan, maintaining that their ideals would “cheat us out of what we deserve.” The Great Compromise stepped in and proposed that we should have a combination of both plans. The Crispus Attucks Coalition followed, their demands that slavery be abolished and for equal rights for blacks directed more atthe Dixiecrat Bloc than any other group of delegates. The Dixiecrat Bloc, more concerned with stuffing their purses than human life, retorted by saying that we need slavery, and that it is central to our economy and our security. They asserted that if we lose slavery, we shall fall, and they threatened to secede.
After the opening statements, the Virginia Plan aimed its attention at the New Jersey Plan. It's analogy that compared the New Jersey plan to a table with 50 people versus a table with 2 people showed how it was unfair that the table with only 2 can out vote the table with 50, proving their point that representation should be by population. New Jersey still maintained that the Virginia Plan was unfair, and threatened to secede. Ben Franklin stepped in as the mediator and compared Virginia and New Jersey to Andre the Giant and Bruce Lee, although Bruce Lee’s existence was disputed. Though of two different sizes, both are equally powerful, and Franklin tied this to a compromise between the two ideals. Virginia rounded on New Jersey pointing out that the North supports their economy through other ways, while Virginia needs more people. New Jersey, once more, claimed that representation by population was unfair.
At this point, the Crispus Attucks Coalition and the Dixiecrat Bloc joined the debate, against one another. The Crispus Attucks Coalition stated that we are a united nation, and despite skin color, everyone fought against the British. The moral crusaders upheld that all people are equal, and that what matters is what is in the heart of the people, not how they are represented. The money grubbing Dixiecrat Bloc said that slavery is the central power behind our economy, and it would help the economy become prosperous again. They suggested waiting until 1807, when the nation has built a functioning foundation.
Returning to the matter of fair representation, the Virginia plan offered a government with 3 branches, which would not be as corrupt. That way, they could represent all, not the few. New Jersey stated that all states should be independent, and listed possible consequences that Virginia would have, such as multitudes of people flocking to Virginia for a share in the vote, or the smaller states banding together. The Great Compromise intervened again and noted that both sides were valid; New Jersey didn’t want to be overshadowed. Franklin warned them that they have to concede in order to keep the country together. He compared it to two brothers that love each other and must compromise to stay united.
The Crispus Attucks Coalition hounded the Dixiecrat Bloc once more that slavery is immoral. They suggested that there are other ways around slavery, such as indentured servants or the thousands of poor people who would gladly work. Governor Morris sarcastically congratulated the Dixiecrats on hiding the situation under their slave-made beds so that they may “sleep easy,” and warned them of a civil war down the line. The greedy Dixiecrats argued that indentured servants were paid, and that slaves were not. They cast off the notion of civil war and uprisings and insisted they could “crush the rebellion[s].” They voted to keep slavery going.
After much repetitiveness, it was decided that the issue of slavery would be left out of the constitution and would not be brought up until 1807.

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Action Photographs:


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