Arc of the Moral Universe Sample Essay

Arc of the Moral Universe Sample Essay.

Arc of the Moral Universe Sample Essay

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SOURCE 1 “The American Yawp” Chapter 25-30(ONLY)

SOURCE 2 “Letter From a Birminghan Jail”…

Source 3 “How Black Lives Matter”…

Souce 4 “Man and Women of the Year”,…e

Source 5 “Text of the Speech”…

Souce 6 ” How 9/11 Changed America”…

There is no need to consult sources other than course materials to successfully complete this exam. Please use informal parenthetical in-text citations that mention the name of the source like this (Lecture 4.1). Your writing must include parenthetical in-text citations directly after the information referenced. A works cited at the end makes it difficult for us to grade your engagement with the sources. As such, the failure to include in-text parenthetical citations, as modeled above, will result in point deductions. Do not cite or include any outside sources. The use of outside sources will result in significant point deductions. Copying and pasting without quotation marks is plagiarism and will be graded accordingly. Do not copy and paste directly (even with quotes) from course materials, particularly secondary sources. Merely quoting from the textbook does not demonstrate understanding of and engagement with course materials. It is best to synthesize course materials and put them in your own words.


Q: Throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, he often invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” In your response answer, to what extent does this quote accurately represent the history of justice from 1945- 2020? Your response could approach justice from the lens of civil rights, civil liberties, peace/ foreign interventions, or something else (as long as you can support your choice with evidence from course materials).

  1. Introduction: In your introduction discuss what the quote means, particularly how you define justice in your analysis. Provide a clear thesis statement that responds to the prompt and states how you will support your argument.
  2. In your body paragraphs, select three examples from distinct historical moments between 1945 and 2020 that speak to the issue of justice (according to your definition) and advance your answer to the prompt.
  3. In your conclusion: Sum up your analysis by restating your thesis and your supporting evidence. Consider, given the trajectory you outline in your essay, what would need to happen for the arc to bend further towards justice in the future?

Requirements: 5 paragraph essay (SEE ESSAY FORMAT ATTACHED BELOW) for example 

Arc of the Moral Universe

Student Name

Institutional Affiliation

Arc of the Moral Universe

Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice,” suggests that there have been morals in our societies since time immemorial. These morals tend to lean towards justice. The morals seem to bring order in a just way.  Justice is the right or fair dealing of a matter. This paper analyses the quote and finds it not entirely true; we see the segregation of African Americans in the sixties, their killing by the police, and the detention of persons alleged to be criminals in Cuba without trial.

In the Sixties of the American Yawp, there is a lot of racial segregation. African American students were not allowed to share food counters, buses, nor trains. When “four African American students staged a sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter in a North Carolina department store in 1960”, the tone of the modern US civil rights movement shifted (Abramson, 2018). The desegregation of Woolworth’s department stores was forced due to this strategy, which generated opposition.  When Freedom Rides were started in 1961, they faced rejection in Alabama as they intended to put students sit in a mixed partner. Angry KKK members attacked the rides and beat activists who escaped (Abramson, 2018, pg 27). The attacks and beatings are not just.

Michael Kazin in Black Lives Matter says that the liberation of African Americans, which started in the 1960s, continues to date. He says more people are getting aware of the organization, and it has helped change the attitude of white Americans. Trayvon Martin and George Floyd are examples of black people who were killed by white police. These killings are not just at all. George Floyd’s killing, in particular, was a catalyst to the openness of young people talking about racial equity compared to older generations (Sean, 2020, pg 1 & 20). Younger generations are taking racial discussions more positively than older generations, disputes Martin Luther’s quote.

The USA had not been involved in a major war before 9/11. It sent its soldiers to Afghanistan, where Al-Qaeda was terrorizing people. The Bush administration opened the Guantanamo Bay detention prison in Cuba in 2002, where alleged enemy combatants were taken. Prisoners were held indefinitely without access to tribunals or legal representation and harsh interrogation techniques (Green, 2017, pg 10). By 2003, the prison had more than 650 foreign inmates unjustly.

In conclusion, the quote is not entirely accurate, evidenced by the segregation of African Americans in the sixties, their killing by the police, and the detention of persons alleged to be criminals in Cuba without trial. The older generation is more rigid to change than the younger generation, which disputes Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote that suggests that the universe has morals that tend to bend to justice for a long time. Alleged enemies do not have any right to voice their grievances, yet they have not been tried in a court of law. Further, segregating and killing someone because of their skin color is unfair.


Sean, I. (2020) How Black Lives Matter   Fits into the Long History of American Radicalism. Any movement that goes to the root of things is radical.…

 Green, M. (2017). The Lowdown. How 9/11 Changed America…

Abramson, S., Barrett. M, and Cebul, B. “The Sixties,” Samuel Abramson, ed., in The American Yawp, eds. Joseph Locke and Ben Wright (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018). (

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