American Conversations is an essay contest open to residents of Founders’ Place Historical District, Inc. between the ages of 17 – 29. This is our second year to participate in Civic Season and to offer the essay contest as a way to engage you people in expressing their ideas about our history and civic questions. This year’s topics are:
– According to Merle Haggard’s 1971 song Okie from Muskogee, “we still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse.” Is the flag as important a symbol in American life today as it was in generations past? How do your ideas about the flag differ from your parents’ or grandparents’ generation?
– How are you committed to making America, and in particular Muskogee, a better place? What things have you done to ensure the future of our city and country remains not just strong, but also just and equitable, supporting the ideals on which our country was founded?
– What does it mean to “be an American”? Should civics be taught in school again as a stand-alone class? It has been proposed that everyone pass a citizenship test to vote. Is this a good idea?
– Our neighborhood, Founders’ Place, was carved out of the allotment given to Chief Pleasant Porter under the Dawes Act. How do you see tribal sovereignty and the common public good coming together in Oklahoma or our country? How could we in Founders’ Place acknowledge the Native lands our homes are built on, or should we? Did any well-known Native Americans live in our neighborhood? How could they be honored?
– Is democracy more about individual rights and freedoms or the collective good? Should the rights of the individual supersede those of society? Is it possible to balance both, so that singular individual freedoms do not overpower the democracy of the whole? Give examples.
Prizes are given for the best essay submissions. The contest runs parallel with our neighborhood home decorating contest from Juneteenth to July 4th.