Meritocracy In The American Dream

1220 Words5 Pages
Meritocracy, which transcends to upward mobility, can help achieve the Black American Dream only when money and support are present. Walter Younger is an example of meritocracy, a middle-aged man living with his mother and family and works hard as a chauffeur. He wants upward mobility, which is why he enters into the liquor store business with two of his business partners. After receiving his father’s insurance money from his mother, he invested everything towards the business. However, the downfall occurs when one of his partners, Bobo, showed up to his house without Willy Harris, his other partner, present. “When I got to the train station…Willy didn’t never showed up...When a cat take off with your money he don’t leave you no road maps”…show more content…
Lutie is another example of meritocracy, the mother of eight-year-old Bub living in an apartment in Harlem who works hard as a singer. She wants upward mobility, which is why she accepts Boot’s job offer when asked to join his band. The night after singing at Junto’s bar, the downfall occurs when Lutie realizes that she is not being paid for her singing service, as promised by Boots. “‘When will my salary start? And how much will it be?’ She couldn’t wait any longer for him…She looked at him anxiously, conscious of a growing sense of dismay…This was worse than being back where she started because she hadn’t been able to prevent the growth of a bright optimism that had pictured a shining future” (Petry 303-305). Money and support symbolize upward mobility. Lutie is grieved about the news of not getting paid yet because she sees the singing career as a way to transcend herself out of poverty. This is the turning point of the story where she acknowledges that being the only hardworking member in her family will not translate into upward mobility. She gets no support from anyone, compared to Walter, who is getting support from his…show more content…
Both the Younger family and the Johnson family are similar because both share their ambition in wanting to achieve the Black American Dream. However, only the Younger family is able to achieve it because they have goals, working adults, money, and support. They have the freedom to move into their new home in Clybourne Park, despite White supremacy, stereotype, and greed standing in the way. Unfortunately, despite meritocracy, not all Blacks have money and support to transcend themselves into upward mobility. The Johnson family is not able to achieve the Black American Dream because there is no goal set, only one working adult, and no money and support involved in their lives to offer them freedom. It is a lot harder to have upward mobility with no family support especially when society is against the individual. The Johnson family’s unsuccessful attempt to achieve the Black American Dream illustrates that it is not meant for all Blacks living in America. Perhaps it is impossible for all Blacks to excel in America because not all Blacks are privileged to have what other Blacks
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