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. They looked at slavery as a grievous sin, yet they allowed it to occur for decades. Immigrants from all parts of the country came to America to be free from persecution and terror; unfortunately, people were not free in America's own backyard. Why did hundreds of thousands of people leave their homes to start fresh in a new world? The answer is simple; they wanted a glimpse of the American Dream, but that look into a prosperous future was not for all people. The founding fathers left an enormous hole in the document that established the first set of rules that would govern this new country. They did not include minorities in their representation of men being equal. The only ones who were considered equal were immigrants who came on their own, who left their past behind them, and who kept their social structures in tact. For everyone else, they learned soon enough that they must abandon that dream for one that favors setbacks, the need to rise again, and a quest for group dignity.
From the time that Africans were taken from their country and enslaved in a new world, they have fought to retain dignity and grace in circumstances that were deplorable. Even slaves who were well taken care of were not able ...
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...is life ends, and Push gives very intimate insight to a young abused girl who is fighting to survive. All of these stories have characters who have hopes and dreams of being successful, but fall short in some way because the Declaration of Independence did not include them and the desire to reach the American Dream is not an open invitation to Africans like it is to other immigrant groups. They are not voluntary participants in American society; therefore, they must settle for less than others have to. They must fight twice as hard to have half as much as others.
Brent, Linda. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl". The Classic Slave Narratives. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Penguin Group, 1987.
Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: The Penguin Group, 1977.
Sapphire. Push. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1996.
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