Barack Obama 's ' Bowie State University Commencement Speech ' And Mike Rose 's Blue Collar Brilliance '

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Michelle Obama’s “Bowie State University Commencement Speech” and Mike Rose’s “Blue-Collar Brilliance” both address the similar theme of a higher education. Obama motivates her audience by connecting to the fight for education by African Americans and the drive required to complete a higher education throughout history. Obama’s central argument is to inspire the graduates, such as previous generations have done, to encourage future generations to care about their education, continue on with higher learning, and also to get them back on track if they begin to stray. Obama cites multiple statistics such as ones that declared educated African Americans actually live longer and make more money than those without a degree or who have dropped out of high school. On the other hand, Rose addresses the common held belief that work requiring less schooling also requires less intelligence. Rose provided two stories; one about his mother Rosie, and one about her brother Joe, neither of whom finished high school. Rose declares that their lack of institutionalized education did not mean they were not educated in other ways. In their lines of work, one at a factory and one at a restaurant, required a combined demand of both body and mind. The primary thesis Rose is trying to point out is that our society today devalues everyday learning and we offer limited educational opportunities that cause us to reinforce cultural divides. My feelings on the issue of higher education are mixed. While I

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