DBQ Essay Assignment: "One"


Directions: Write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use evidence from the document(s) and media in the body of the essay. Support your response with relevant facts, examples, and details. Include additional outside information and related concept words ( empathy, identity, citizenship...)

Task: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” Read the excerpt below from his address "What’s Your Life’s Blueprint?” In your essay, discuss the meaning of the passage and be sure to explain how it relates to the concepts of diversity and interdependence. You must also discuss the meaning of Bono’s song, One and the political cartoon. Be sure to define the term “E pluribus unum” and explain the origin of the term when discussing the cartoon. Remember to explain how both the cartoon and song are related to the essay themes of diversity and interdependence. Finally, discuss the importance of teamwork in school. Identify and discuss specific attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that teachers and students should adhere to in order to support diversity and promote cooperation in the classroom. Be sure to include and fully discuss citations and specific examples from each document and media.


"Don't allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them. Don't allow anybody to cause you to lose your self-respect to the point that you do not struggle for justice---how ever young you are. You have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live. You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody. And so you must be involved in the struggle for freedom and justice."

"What's Your Life's Blueprint", address by Martin Luther King, Jr. to students of Barrett High School in Philadelphia, PA.



E Pluribus Unum

Source: “E pluribus unum” – Gallery; Goals for Americans Foundation






Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you
Now you got someone to blame
You say one love, one life
When it's one need in the night
It's one love
We get to share it
It leaves you baby
If you don't care for it

Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's too late tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We're one but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head
Did I ask too much
More than a lot
You gave me nothing
Now it's all I got
We're one but we're not the same
We hurt each other, then we do it again

You say love is a temple
Love is a higher law
Love is a temple
Love is the higher law
You ask me to enter but then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on to what you got
When all you got is hurt
One love, one blood, one life
You got to do what you should
One life with each other
Sisters, brothers
One life but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other


Bono/U2 - Achtung Baby © 1991




“It is a song about coming together, but it's not the old hippie idea of "Let's all live together."  It is, in fact, the opposite.  It's saying, "We are one, but we're not the same."  It's not saying we even want to get along, but that we have to get along together in this world if it is to survive.  It's a reminder that we have no choice.”  ~  Bono, 1993



~  8th graders E pluribus unum / “One” Essays  ~



It’s been said that, “Strength is not only in the similarities, but also in the differences.”  This quote means that because everyone is different, it can only make us stronger as a group.  The diverse amount of ideas that can come from everyone can help change the world.  When we come together, we have more power in numbers and that’s why we should stick together as a nation.  But when we get older, it will be our choice if we believe this or not.  We can learn this from political cartoons, songs, and quotes.

After 9/11 many people wanted to divide instead of be interdependent because of the different races and religion.  There were diverse people in the planes and in the buildings that came down, but we just wanted to blame one group.  That is not what the United States is about.  E pluribus Unum means out of many, one and stands for what our nation is, a whole.  The cartoonist is saying in the picture that at the 9/11 reunions, we should come together no matter our race, religion, or ethnic group.  In the end we will realize that we’ve spent all of our time fighting when there is just one planet and we should celebrate that we have it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once gave the speech, “What’s Your Life’s Blueprint” to students of Barrett High School in Philadelphia, PA.  This speech is about how you have the power to control yourself and to make sure that no one makes you lose your self-respect.  It also states that no matter how young you are, you have the responsibility to make a brighter future for others and to fight for justice and freedom for our nation.  For example, one day if you are walking down the street and you see someone who needs your help and you don’t help them, then another day the same thing could happen to you.  If people don’t care about these things or didn’t think this way, then no one would be striving to save our world and to make it a better place to live.

The song “One” by Bono and U2 is an example of unity because it tells us that we have to get along with each other for us to be able to survive.  “We’re one but we’re not the same” states that even though every one is diverse, and has different ideas of ways to use their power and empathy, we still all act as a whole and come together during important times.  Another line from the song is, “And I can’t be holding on to what you got when all you got is hurt”.  This line means that we can’t all trust each other when all we do is hurt each other.  We need to be able to trust each other and know that they will be there when the nation needs to act as a whole.  If we are prejudice, it brings down our nation and weakens our group and we need to be strong and have citizenship and power.

As a young person, we have our whole lives in front of us and we need E pluribus Unum to make us a whole.  As a kid, if we treat each other with respect, justice, and citizenship, then when we get older we won’t have trust issues.  To promote E pluribus Unum now, we need to make sure that everyone is treated the same way no matter what their identity is. In school, the teachers need to influence their students to act together as one and for the teachers and students to also act together.  Teachers are very good role models for students because they teach us important lessons as we grow up.  An example of this would be what if they taught us to all be the same and to think what everyone else thought.  We wouldn’t have our own ideas and we wouldn’t be able to think for ourselves.  Thinking differently doesn’t prevent people from acting together as a whole though.

To learn to act together as one, helps shape our future and gives us a better outline for a brighter future.  If someone wants justice for themselves, but not for others, then it really isn’t justice.  Everyone should have the same opportunities and we can share them with each other.  If we could all act as one, then we would have more power because there would be more ideas and ways to make us have a better future.  As we get older we need to know whether this is what we believe or not. What will you believe?


            In the past, some people believed that there should be world peace and unity.  That is not bad, but some also believed that everyone should be the same.  Bono’s song has many ideas about how people can work together and still be different.  There is a saying, “Strength is not only in the similarities, but also in the differences” and this supports Bono’s idea about working together and being different. “As different as people are, we are still one nation” said Mr. Chase, my social studies teacher.  These ideas can be shown through cartoons, music, and quotes.

          Bono’s song and music video “ONE” is a great example of coming together because; Bono did a new version of the song with Mary J. Blige.  She is African-American and is a female.  I believe the idea behind this is that she is different than Bono but they could still create a beautiful song together.  “We are one, but we’re not the same” is a great way to explain them working together.  Also it is part of his song, so the image of two different people singing together is supported by that quote!

E Pluribus Unum is on our coins, so it must have an important meaning.  The exact meaning is out of many one.  The political cartoon with E Pluribus Unum is representing all diverse groups of people standing as one, to spell out the phrase.  This also is related to 9-11 and how American citizens felt after that tragic event.  They are trying to tell us that we need to stay united as American citizens and work interdependently as one, because if we don’t then our beautiful United States would be vulnerable because we are not as strong as we would be all together!

          “You have the responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live.  You have the responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody.”  Said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  In order to make our nation better everyone must be kind, help one another, and live in peace and unity.   If everyone in the world follows these words then the world will truly become unified.  Also everyone’s lives will be worth living and hopefully there will be less crime.

          In schools, teachers are there to teach us things that we need to be successful in the future.  In school teamwork is helpful because if you don’t understand something, you can go to other students or a teacher who you really trust will help you and not GIVE you the answers.  Teamwork also helps the teachers, with giving the children more items of knowledge.  In order to help, students and teachers can try to make it easier on each other and to create unity among one another.  Diversity in schools can help everyone also.  If everyone was the same at school then the environment would feel weird because everyone would have the same beliefs. 

            All these documents express nearly the same beliefs, that people can work interdependently and still be different. “Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.”  said Henry Ford.  This is also a great quote people should live by.  It is saying that you should try your hardest to work together, and you will become successful. 





Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said that we all came to America on different ships, but he is also saying that we are together in the same country. No matter what color our skin is, we really did come to this country together as one.  When he is saying that we are in the same boat, is that we settled in America and we are one nation under God. A lot of people are saying thing’s that are dividing our country and that is really not what we are about. Our nation stands for freedom and we do not judge any one. We can live in unity!

      The song “One” is a song about how we are all different but in a way we are all the same. You should not judge someone by what color their skin is. We should not judge anyone by what they are wearing or what their culture is. This song is saying that we should join together and work together. Here is a quote that is very much similar to joining together.  “Snow flakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together”. That is what people should do, stick together and try to work everything out. We are all different but we are not sticking together it’s the same thing with the snow flakes, all snow flakes have different designs and shapes and that’s exactly what we are. We just need to stick together.

      The cartoon shows a whole bunch of people from different backgrounds and they are all linking hands. Its shows that they don’t care about the color of each others skin, and what each of their culture is. In the cartoon in the corner there is a picture that says “9/11” that is in there because people are not mad at them anymore and they are trying to forgive. It does not mean everyone has forgiven but it does show that we are healing. If we are walking down the street and we see a person that is Arab-American it does not mean that we are going to yell “hey there’s a terrorist”. Just because he comes from the same country dose not mean he is on their side.

      I do not judge anyone by the color of there skin. I think that the song was good because it showed how Bono feels on how people judge others by the color of their skin. The cartoon was good because it showed how people change and are friends with each other. I think that if we all did not judge people by their skin then the world would be a better place.

      Don’t let people bring you down because they make fun of you because of who you are and you should not listen. Walk on and be the better person. You should be the only person who has the right to judge yourself and tell your self who you are. You should have respect for your self. In Martin Luther King’s speech it says “Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them”. Don’t let someone judge down on others, because you know deep inside people are all just the same and maybe they are being mean because they are scared to know someone different. They are not used to seeing someone so different, and that probably scares them even more.


“Strength is not only in the similarities, but also in the differences.”  This quote means that you do not all have to be the same to have power.  Everyone, similar and different, can come together and have strength.  Everyone has a different identity and even though some people might not accept that you still have to be as one and have empathy for each other.  We can learn about the importance of unity and diversity from songs, speeches, and cartoons.

The song “One” by Bono, is saying that people are interdependent, but they are not always the same.  Even though we might hurt each other sometimes, we still forgive each other and help one another.  It is hard to stick together when we hurt each other.  The song says, “…I can’t be holding on to what you get when all you got is hurt…”  America is the best when we come together to live one life and share all of our thoughts.  We don’t really have a choice to stick together.  We must stay united, as the song says, “We’re one, but we’re not the same; We get to carry each other, carry each other.”

The political cartoon is saying that even though our nation is diverse, we can still work together as one.  E pluribus Unum means out of many, one.  America is made up of many, but we should be interdependent.  After the attacks of 9/11, people came together and supported the families who lost many loved ones.  The cartoon is saying that no matter what, we should always stick together.  Also, it is saying we should not accuse others because they look different from you or act in a different way.  We should act empathetic to people even though they might look different.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “You have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live.”  Citizenship is a duty not a choice.  Everyone should be as one and promote citizenship.  This quote means that you have the choice to have empathy for others.  This quote reminds me of our pledge of allegiance, “…with liberty and justice for all” because it is saying that everyone should be free and have equal rights.  No matter what they look like we should be as one.  Everyone should take care of America and we should all treat each other equally.  By doing that, we can make our nation just and a better place to live.

Teamwork in school is very important because in order to learn you have to choose to work together. Whether it is with the teacher or your classmates, you should always try to work as one.  Teachers should influence kids to be interdependent.  Lewis and Clark explored the west and came together with a diverse group of people to create a map for others to follow.  Many people who change the world start by working with others when they are young.

It is very important to respect people even though they are different.  No matter what your race or religion everyone should be treated equal.  People work together every day.  E pluribus unum is very powerful and influences people to be interdependent.  You have to care about others.  When people are prejudice they are not being fair to others.  When people are prejudice they are not standing as one.  It is very important to stand as one and be interdependent.  You should be fair and treat everyone equally.




Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said  “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Dr. King is telling us that we are different but we live in the same place so we should try to get along.  Fighting for equality in diversity was one of Dr. King’s messages.  He wanted Americans to get along and respect others.  You can learn about respect for diversity from songs, movies, quotes and cartoons.

“We are one but we’re not the same” a line written by Bono for his song “One,” says the same thing as Dr. Kings quote.  “We get to share it, it leaves you baby if you don’t care for it” Bono feels that if you don’t care for or promote love and peace it goes away. If the world wants love and peace we have to care for each other. If you hurt people they will not trust you like they did before, this will tear down unity in the group.  Like Bono said, “I can’t be holding on to what you got when all you got is hurt.” 

“You have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live.” Dr. Martin Luther King means that it is our job to make our nation better.  It is our choice to change our behavior for the better.  We have the power to change what we do to each other, and to be positive toward each other and all our differences. 

“E Pluribus Unum” means out of many, one.   That means that we are all different from each other, and live in America. When 9/11 happened it affected many people that had lost their moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and children. There were many people that had lost there beloved ones. There were many hearts broken that day. Many people were at work or at school when the towers were hit,

The importance of teamwork in school is that we have to learn to get along and work with each other.  If we don’t get along now it’s going to be harder out in the real world.  Teachers need to help children learn how to respect each other and each other’s differences.  Students can help by respecting adults and by listening to them when they are talking, and actually trying to learn from their experiences.  

We’ve made progress in American communities in the way we treat each other.  People get along and stick together more during rough times than they used to.  Although we’ve come a long way we still have a lot of work to do to make the world a better, more peaceful, place for everyone. As Martin Luther King said “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.  We need to learn to live together peacefully, or we will die together with hatred in our hearts.



“Everyone is different in there own way, we make each other strong. We’re not the same, we’re different in a good way, together is where we belong”, this is a quote from The High School Musical. The quote means it is good to be different. If we were all the same the world would be dull. Being different is a great thing. Being different lets you choose what is right from wrong in “Your” own perspective. Cartoons, quotes, song lyrics, and more can remind us about diversity and interdependence and our selves.

      Mary J Blige and Bono from the Band U2 sang a song called “One”. This song represents how differences shouldn’t be ignored and how we should always get together no matter what race. “It is a song about coming together” This means that the song represents that we can get together even if we are different. This is part of what Bono said right after he thought about what the song really meant. At first, he made it to represent a couple fighting. Then he thought about it until he got the idea that it wasn’t about just one couple. It was the whole world! Bono and Mary J Blige worked interdependently with one another to have the video represent that no matter what race or skin color, we can all work together as one.

      E Pluribus Unum represents how everyone, even different religions can get together. The cartoon, “E pluribus unum” represents that even though, when 9/11 happened, all Americans hold one another’s hand through the horrible tragedy. There was at one time, an E Pluribus Unum Project. E Pluribus Unum means from many, one in Latin. At first it was the motto for the Great Seal of the United States. Now with this motto the United States is trying to get all religions and beliefs to be known in the U.S. Now, if illegal immigrants are trying to be accepted in the United States, why is the U.S rejecting them? They just want a chance for a good life. We should stick together. Not reject other races. Even if they were illegal immigrants they have raised families in the United States and the children might not know what their parents were at first. They have the human rights too. They had the choice to come to the United States. The parents who illegally immigrated to the U.S have kids that were born in the U.S. Are they or are they not American citizens? Who knows, there might have been a problem down in Mexico or anywhere else where they just had to come to the United States, and they had no choice.

      “Don’t allow anybody to pull you so low as to make you hate them. Don’t allow anybody to cause you to lose your self-respect to the point that you don’t struggle for justice---how ever young you are. You have the responsibility to seek to make your nation better nation in which to live.” said Martin Luther King Jr. This part of the quote represents the diversity of everyone in the world, but yet we should work interdependently with one another in order to make one another stronger. Martin Luther King Jr gave people hope to get along with each other. Blacks can get along with whites everyone can get along with one another. He made his people proud to be living. Whites, some of us still have some sort of hatred in our hearts for African-Americans. Why? Some people can’t get over the past. That can sometimes kill someone. Even though if the past is horrible you can’t forget about it, but keep it behind you.. It shouldn’t be forgotten, but then it shouldn’t hurt you as your life goes on.

      The Song “One” by Mary J Blige and Bono from U2 represents the diversity of people. Lines that prove this are “We’re one but we’re not the same, We get to carry each other, Carry each other”. This means that we need to work together in order to get along. Even if we are different there is a way that every one can get along. Nobody is the same. No one should be treated differently because they might be a different ethnic group or color because in some way every one is the same. Why should we give up the way we live and treat others differently? We should work interdependently with one another. We should have empathy for each other. We should get along. Even though that people have a different identities doesn’t mean that we need to treat people differently. For an example, Rosa Parks was judged just because of her color, and was arrested for not going in the back of a bus. Now Rosa Parks is respected for defending her human rights and being herself, and helping to change others lives.

      Sometimes being different is a good thing. Sometimes people might not think that because they are always considered different in other people’s eyes and they think something is wrong with them. There is absolutely no reason why people should discriminate other people for being different. Why is being different important? So we can learn other sides of people’s ideas or states of mind. If we were all the same, everything would be less exciting.


In this world, diversity and teamwork are two words that people take for granted.  Many people don’t see the importance of coming together as one and helping each other out.  Some people take advantage of the different kinds of races, and don’t notice that everyone is the same in their own way.  All some people look at, are the differences and weaknesses, while we should be noticing and accepting their strengths.  We need to learn to stop and stand up for what is right, and know what is wrong.

          In Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote, he explains that we should not have others change our ideas about something, or try to change our need for justice.  We need to work for justice for everyone.  “…Don’t allow anybody to cause you to loose your self-respect to the point that you do not struggle for justice---how ever young you are.”  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Everyone needs to have the courage to stand up for what they believe in.  Together we can continue to make a better life.  People will only succeed in doing this, by becoming involved with the government, and knowing what is just.

          The cartoon is representing many people, of different races, coming together after a hard time.  On the backs of everyone, there is a letter, and the letters spell out a word. It spells out “E Pluribus Unum,” which means out of many, one.  The cartoon shows people coming together as “one.”  It’s not easy to come together after a hard time.  But it’s even harder to come together after being attacked by people from one certain group.  If we think about it, all the people living in America still feel upset and hurt, even though a terrorist might have been someone of their own ethnic group.  We are all living together, and need to help each other.  But it’s important to have a reinforcement to fall on, so it’s important to come together and work together.

          The song “One,” by Bono, explains that difference is ok.  We carry differences with us.  “To drag the past out into the light” “We’re one but we’re not the same”, means that we don’t need to bring out what has already occurred.  It doesn’t need to be in the spotlight 24/7.  We need to move on, and come together, even though we have our differences.  We are all like snowflakes; no one is exactly the same, even though we may have our strengths and our weaknesses, we all have our own talents that make us special.  And when we come together, we can put our talents together and make a difference.

          During school, teamwork is very important.  Teamwork shows in different ways during school.  Teachers help the students do work and give advice, which is one of the ways,  that teamwork is important.  Another way is when a friend needs help; other students help them, whether they honestly need it or not.  One other way that teamwork is important is displayed in school is in sports.  The whole team is there for the same reason, and they come together to succeed and try to win.  Schools respect differences in race, and in personalities.  There are kids who succeed in choir, arts, music, and even computer skills; and there is a diversity of respect for each and every child’s abilities.

          Prejudice is a word that means to have unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group.  Prejudice can be seen from different ways; and there are many different kinds of prejudice.  There is racial prejudice, cultural, and even sexual prejudice.  We can try to stop prejudice by not comparing each other, and by not telling others what they can and can’t do.  “…don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something…not even me.” This quote is from the movie Pursuit of Happyness.  A black man tells his son this, making sure he follows his dreams, no matter what.

           If we come together, you won’t believe what we can do.  “Two heads are better than one,” means that a group of people can make a bigger difference than just one. We should look beyond someone’s race and actually see what, and how he or she is feeling. We need to have empathy for people who have no one, and should pray for them. Just like at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, “…with liberty, and justice for all.” Saying this every day in school shows me that everyone is entitled to fairness and citizenship. Everyone has an identity that needs to be understood, and not judged.


“The important thing about that freedom train, is it's got to climb mountains. We ALL have to climb mountains, you know.  Mountains that go way up high, and mountains that go deep and low. Yes, we know what those mountains are here at Glide. We sing about them.” 

~ Rev. Cecil Williams  Glide Memorial United Methodist Church


It’s been said, “Diversity is the one thing we all have in common. Celebrate it.” Diversity does not mean we are all the same. It means variety, and there are a variety of people in this world. Many people, though, are prejudice towards people that are different from them. However, songs, quotes, and even political cartoons support diversity and the idea that we are all one, but were not the same. 

      The cartoon “E pluribus unum” is an example of interdependence because it shows a variety of people joined together. E pluribus unum literally means “from many, one” and they are joined together on the anniversary of September 11th, a day in which this country truly came together. The people in this cartoon are not all the same, either, which is an even greater example of diversity and interdependence. If they were all the same, it would not have the same meaning. However, it has not been easy for people of the same group that attacked us. Some people are prejudice towards them just because they are of the same group. The song “If Everyone Cared” by Nickelback says, “if everyone loved and nobody lied, then we’d see the day that nobody died.” More people should follow this and stop blaming others for horrible events just because of their skin color.

      Another document that supports diversity is what Martin Luther King Jr. said to the students of Barrett High School in Philadelphia, PA. He says not to let “anybody pull you so low as to make you hate them,” and to be interdependent, you can’t hate people, you have to join them. King also says “You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody.” Everybody means a variety of people, and to have this responsibility, you have to learn to join others and respect people different from you.

      The song “One” by Bono is a great example of diversity and unity. Even the title of the song sums up interdependence. However, as Bono says, this isn’t a song of living together or that everybody is equal, it’s a song about being one, but not being the same. People don’t even have to like each other to be one; we just have to be tolerable of each other in order to accomplish something together. Bono also says “I can’t be holding on to what you got when all you got is hurt.” This means that when people are hurtful towards other, then we can’t join together to do what’s right if we are not tolerating that person or group.

      The idea of diversity is a powerful one and we should always respect it even if some people are different from you. There will always be prejudice in this world, but if just a few people changed their ways, then maybe more lives can change.


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