In 1776 it was stated that our country was based upon one simple truth, "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Though stated with a poetic justice, this statement did not hold true for all U.S. citizens. Many citizens were held in captivity, versus freedom, unable to pursue those "inalienable rights." After two hundred years of inequality, Martin Luther King, Jr., would provide one of the most vocal positions regarding the lack of equal rights owed to African Americans. In his 1969 Lincoln Memorial speech, King would historically state, "I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream, that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
Like most Americans, African Americans have developed several variations of the American Dream. Many African Americans find that their dream differs from the traditional American dream in that there is no immediate success. Sometimes it consists of equality via liberty and/or literacy, while at other a simple desire to know self through historical connection. Dreams of this nature have been a major underlying theme of African-American literature since the 1800's.
In the mid-1800's Frederick Douglass began sharing his story of slavery with what was then considered the "North." Douglass realized his dream early in life and worked to achieve as much of the dream as possible. As he explains in The Classic Sla...
... middle of paper ...
...e up the great African-American literary tradition describing the quest for the dream of equality, and in that, exercising their inalienable rights.
Brent, Linda. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Penguin Group, 1987.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Penguin Group, 1987.
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Introduction. The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Penguin Group, 1987. ix-xviii.
Graff, Harvey J. The Literacy Myth: Literacy and Social Structure in the Nineteenth-Century City. New York: Academic Press, 1979.
Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: The Penguin Group, 1977.
Sapphire. Push. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1996.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A Dream Revised in Song of Solomon, Push, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl America was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal." However, a question must be posed which asks who constitutes "men" and what is "equal". Where do women fit into the picture. What about minorities. The Declaration of Independence serves as the framework for rules that govern the people who fall beneath it, but who were the architects of the infamous work. They were white, upper class, men.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2968 words (8.5 pages)
- "Come on, you wuss, just three more reps," I muttered under my breath. I was in the gym, doing curls. It had been a long day, so I decided to torture myself on purpose. (I sometimes wonder about my own sanity.) Some popular pop song was playing on the radio, but I was ignoring it, as usual. Either the gym or I smelled heavily of sweat; I had a strong suspicion towards the latter. As I finished my curls, my arms burnt as if on fire. Time for a half-minute break, then back for another set. I was absolutely determined to get back into shape.... [tags: Personal Narrative, Autobiographical Essay]
1116 words (3.2 pages)
- ... Three years earlier, she released her first solo album Dangerously in Love. Both albums entered the Billboard Top 200 at #1. In her B’Day album, the first week of sales saw more than 541,000 copies sold, achieving 2006's highest first week's sales by any female recording artiste, group or solo artiste. Prior to her solo albums, Beyoncé was member of the now defunct all-girl R&B band, Destiny Child. According to the Uses and Gratification theory (Blumler and Katz 1975) the audience has a set of needs which include personal identity, diversion, integration and social interaction and surveillance.... [tags: audience perception and meaning]
1777 words (5.1 pages)
War and Memory in Irene Zabytko?s ?Home Soil?, Bruce Weigl?s ?Song of Napalm?, and Wilfred Owen?s ?Dulce et Decorum Est?
- Bullets flying through the air right over me, my knees are shaking, and my feet are numb. I see familiar faces all around me dodging the explosives illuminating the air like lightning. Unfortunately, numerous familiar faces seem to disappear into the trenches. I try to run from the noise, but my mind keeps causing me to re-illustrate the painful memories left behind. The three narratives “Home Soil” by Irene Zabytko, “Song of Napalm” by Bruce Weigl, and “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen all have the same feelings of war and memory, although not everyone experiences the same war.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
755 words (2.2 pages)
- William Congreve, a play writer wrote, “Heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turned, Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorned” (459 Congreve). The feeling of betrayal and enraged love as described in Congreve’s mighty words, is cohesive between both Sylvia Plath’s, “Mad Girl’s Love Song”, and, “Hate Poem” by Julie Sheehan. Similarities that coexist between the two poems are: theme, imagery, and repetition. Love can be beautiful and bright, it can also be dark and depressing, as exemplified in both Plath’s and Sheehan’s writing.... [tags: Mad Girl’s Love Song, Hate Poem]
926 words (2.6 pages)
- Personal Narative- Tough Girl She went to the land of Hollywood with a diamond wedding necklace hanging loosely from her neck like a noose before it gives its snapping goodbye. She went to the land of dreams with pride coloring her shadow; a haughty swing of her thick plait; and why not. Her name was Serina –she was named after a dream. Why not. I thought, though I cried the night before because she got the chance bestowed to her curvy hips, her white Colgate smile, her crystal blue eyes. And what about me.... [tags: Personal Narrative Writing]
1367 words (3.9 pages)
- Personal Narrative- The Girl of My Dreams Fell for My Best Friend Have you ever thought that you knew someone better than you knew yourself. Three years ago I met a girl. She was not just any girl, she had a presence about her, a personality that just could not be described correctly with words. I was really intrigued by her, and in the next couple of months we would become really good friends. Rachel had become a confidant, someone who I could trust for advice and guidance no matter what the situation.... [tags: Personal Narrative]
689 words (2 pages)
- Minorities within Minorities in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon In a study about minorities, the groups that are differing from the dominant culture are seen as homogeneous. But, if we look deeper into the groups, we can see that there are distinctions among the minorities concerning lifestyle and social status. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon the authors gave some examples in the background of their stories that shows people with differential identities of the general identity of the minorities.... [tags: Song Solomon essays]
1959 words (5.6 pages)
- This Girl The girl slowly creeped across the floor. She had a look on her face of love. She began to tempt me. I could not allow her to take control over me. I could not resist. I had to let the love warm my body. I have let her take over once again. I have lost to her kiss. The kiss that has sweetened my blood. I absorbed her body. I walked down the trail on a journey to find my house. I took this route every day. I know that it will lead me back to the place that I love so much.... [tags: Personal Narrative Essays]
576 words (1.6 pages)
- Animal Dreams "'Stop it!' I yelled. My heart was thumping. 'You're killing that bird!'" - Codi Noline, Animal Dreams Those are the words of Codi Noline, a brave heroine with her mind set on rescuing a beautiful but defenseless peacock from horrible torture by a group of demented children on her first day back in her hometown of Grace, Arizona. Much to Codi's chagrin, the bird turns out to be just a piñata, spilling candy and bright treasures rather than a gory mass of blood and bone. The children aren't a pack of hopelessly troubled youth engaging in animal mutilation for sport, only a normal group of kids participating in a party game very common to the Southwestern Mexico-influen... [tags: dreams]
1952 words (5.6 pages)
- American Dream in Song of Solomon, Narrative Frederick Douglass, Life of a Slave Girl, and Push
- Comapring Families in Song of Solomon, Narrative of Frederick Douglass and Push
- Minorities in Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon
- The Myths of the African American Woman
- Plight of Women in Song of Solomon, Life of a Slave Girl, and Push
- Essay on Spirituality in the Works of Linda Brent, Toni Morrison, and Sapphire