My artifact for my speech is Penn State’s “We Are” chant, a chant that began as a cry for social justice and has now grown into the chant of an entire community. In fact The cheer is so popular among the Penn State cognoscenti that it is often shouted throughout the world by strangers wearing something that ties them to their Penn State background.
This chant’s history dates back to the 1940’s when many american football teams were segregated, but not Penn State. The Penn State team included two black players — Wally Triplett and Dennie Hoggard. Before their game with The University of Miami, a segregated team, they were informed that they could not play their two black players, Penn State’s team voted unanimously to cancel the game. Two years later in 1948, Triplett was the lone black player on a Penn State team that earned the right to play Southern Methodist University in the Cotton Bowl. However When they heard that SMU wanted to leave Triplett at home for the game, PSU refused and coined the phrase that would become the battle cry of the lions. Thus the “We Are” chant became known.
For my paper I’ll most likely end up writing about Beaver Stadium. This stadium is known through the entire campus and just like the “We Are” chant it has grown into a symbol for a community. Every game day thousands of people arrive at this commonplace to have fun and support their team, even chanting “We Are”. This civic artifact ties the PSU chant in with another famous Penn State highlight and shows what great sense of community this school has.