MLK’s most famous speech is exactly about this topic and he specifically described this dream. His speech’s most important part was the following, “I have a 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.” I have a dream that my four little children will one day … not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”
His dream is to be equal with white people, he supported his argument by referring to the Declaration of Independence, America’s most sacred paperwork. He wanted to live in equality with equal chances, conditions, and safety, it was his and many other people supported him and followed his dreams, because all black people wanted equality. A dream where white and black people can live together and in unity, but white people didn’t support the dream. Because of this conflict a white person went too far and killed him.
He became the face and symbol of the Civil Right Movement and even after his death many people continued to fight for equality and unity to live together in peace, he had a huge influence on future generations and spokesmen. Coates is one of his followers and he fights for equality just like MLK. He fights for it because he thinks that his dream is unfinished and nowadays it is not just the black community’s dream, but also other groups of people, like poor, asians, latinamericans and other ethnic groups.
Unfairness became a much smaller issue than it was 50-70 years ago, but it is still there and also has a wider influence on people’s lives. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc supports these views in her book called Random Family. The Random Family gave us insight into a society we don’t know. We see that her characters just can’t make the change because the social reproduction in which they are living has way too big effects on them that prevent them from changing or creating. As LeBlanc wrote; “One evening, after Jessica has gotten out of prison and her daughter Serena is turning 16, Jessica splurges on a rented limousine to ferry the girl and her friends wherever they want in the vast city. But as LeBlanc describes the scene, they tool around aimlessly, sheepishly asking the limo driver where he thinks they should go, and end up, finally, just a few blocks from home.’
“They wanted to leave the familiar world behind,’ Leblanc writes, ‘but no one knew the direction out” (Talbot, Margaret, vol. 108, no. 6). It means that it is a learning process for the people to live a proper and good life. If they are not able to create a good life for themselves then they should not have a kid, since the child would suffer as much as the parents or more. Parents are the main examples for the kids, children learn the bases of life from them, and they will have the same values in life. Children are an important part of most people’s dreams, but giving birth needs the right somebody and the right time. Kids have to bring joy in people’s lives, not suffer as in the book. People can’t form their kid, they have to show the way and help them create their own views, because forcing never solves anything, but can cause further problems.
Without proper parental lead the children’s path will break down or never change, it depends on the parents’ life. The parental help defines the children’s life and future, and the pressure is huge on parents to raise a good kid who will live his life happily and full of dreams. Parents play a huge role in life, just like society. Society has an influence on kids. Parents show the main direction, but society can make them step down from the road and change their way. Try to imagine a highway, where you are supposed to stay, but no one around you stays on it. Then after you find another highway, which is an allusion to a different way of life. You go onto it because everybody does the same, maybe even your parents. The main highway was the dream, but many roads can distract you from it. Many people know the proper way, but they act differently, because they want to be accepted by their surroundings, it can be the family or the society.
As LeBlanc wrote “Girls were surrounded by women who ignored the contradictions between what they said and what they did”. (LeBlanc, page 322) Random Family reveals that people know when they did bad or good. They also know what they should do or should have, but they never do it, like hypocrites. Most of the time they were unable to do it, sometimes they just didn’t want to start a new life, because they just can’t. Adults encourage youngsters to be good, but they become bad examples. It shows the social reproduction where the change will never come, because they are stuck in a circle. It is very important to break this circle, because it separates people from their dreams and true-self.
To break the circle there has to be an “outsider”, for example a regulation, a chance to start a new life anywhere or getting money for a year while they are putting their life together by educating themselves and finding a job. It might sound difficult, but after you think about it a bit, we can conclude that the idea is not bad, There won’t be, however, anybody in power who cares about it so much and this kind of help will never come. Why would people who are living the American Dream help achieve the dreams of the dreamers?
As Coates wrote, and I already mentioned it to you, “Dream is just, noble, and real, and you are crazy for seeing the corruption and smelling the sulfur”. (Between the World and Me, page 52) Dream is real and noble, but behind the mask it is corruption. Whenever the curtain falls from it people try to put it back as fast as possible. Corruption stops people from achieving dreams, not just the black people, or asians, but the white people too. Both book blames and shows the problems of the system without mentioning it specifically, but we all felt that they are “showing” the problem and the bad side of the system. They both feel that not only the system, but society makes the road harder.
They make people question themselves, feeling bad, and losing hopes with dreams. Coates lost himself many years before he found true-himself and self-acceptance, while people in Random Family failed to achieve what Coates achieved. Things changed a lot since slavery. For example black people are able to vote, be free, and have many rights. The biggest achievement in the history of black people was Barack Obama’s presidency. Barack Obama was the US President between 2009 and 2017, as you can see he was president for 2 terms and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. He achieved so much, many people can only dream about achieving his ⅓ success. First it brought back the American Dream to the people, a black person became the US president about 150 years after slavery.
Not only the black people saw new dreams and possibilities, white got a lot of motivation too to dream big. White people started to think that if a black person was able to be the President then I can do more, while black people started to feel that nothing is impossible through hard work. As Charteris Black J. said, “Barack Obama himself is a child of the American dream and a witness of its feasibility. The concept has become so widespread that it is now found in many dictionaries. In the idealised version of the American dream, anyone living in the United States can achieve success, through their hard work, courage and determination. ” (Charteris-Black , page 280). This quotation argues that hard work, motivation, bravery will be paid back and people can achieve their dreams through this way.
A way that might have a lot of bumps and make a lot of people give up, but there is no other way. Barack Obama also achieved the presidency because of his hard work. He studied at Columbia University and after that he continued to study at Harvard University and these were just a small part of his life and work. His efforts were paid off and he is probably the most famous black person who can tell he achieved the Dream. The US is not terrible, as a nation they don’t want to hurt people, they want to make America great. Coates says that the US believes itself an unique nation, and no one can compare it to any other nation. America is the nation that protects the world from terrorists, despots, barbarians, and other enemies, without the US the world would be a bad place. Coates argues its correctness.
Coates thinks that the US can be exceptional, but could not resolve its internal problems. He also claims that the black community is a very important part of the US, but they are still disrespected and discriminated against. This is his main idea and point and we can coclude the following; without slavery we would live in a different America, without slavery no one would call anything as American Dream because it would have a different culture, society, and rules. Without slavery America would have been developed differently and would have a completely different role in the past, present, and fututre. Everybody remembers to slavery as a bad thing, and it is, but it is also the base of our beloved nation, the one, and only one United States of America. While Nicole LeBlanc’s main point was about Social Reproduction.
It means that children learn the bad way from parents and they will teach the same bad way to their kid and it goes on and on. The same reproduction happens in society and people’s environments. Society, people, and environment pulls people to the wrong or in a good case to the right path. It can also apply for everybody and it gives us the reason why people in the US can’t really forget and change their society. Slavery still has its effect. It still causes conflicts, discrimination, police brutality, and racism that make the non-white people disadvantaged and/or unaccepted. And from all this we can understand why many people can’t believe in the dream and why others can’t achieve it. Today’s society is still far away from the one where equal power, acceptance, and rights are existing for everybody. In the past MLK was the best, biggest and most famous person who supports and fights for the American Dream. Nowadays, this person must be Barack Obama, as Gérard-François Dumont said in his book called Barack Obama and the ‘American Dream’ in 2012; “Barack Obama’s election also integrated this aspect, with the new president declaring during his campaign that he wanted to keep the American dream alive.”
This quote supports the claim that I am trying to make. Everything is possible. People say a lot of things, many people says that the Dream is basically unachievable to most of the people becasue of unfairness and discrimination just like Coates. Others say that the Dream exists but they can’t make it because they can’t “escape” from social reproduction which is an endless circle and only a few can make the Dream for a while in an illegal way but everything ends when they get arrested and can’t come back from the bottom. The American Dream exists, and it is real, but people who find their dream and are in power will try to exclude everybody else. People in power don’t want to share it with others and they only have self-interest.
White people have the chance to break it and achieve the dream, but non-white people or anyone who are different than those who are in power will be stopped and pushed back to the bottom. Those people, who have enough courage and determination in their hard work, will be able to get their share from the world. Many people do have these characteristics, but they are not strong enough and they give up. I only want to say that, believe in the dream, it exists, do everything to achieve it and never give up. It might be hard and you might struggle a lot, but try your best and give the proper opportunities and chances to your future kid or kids . And if you don’t achieve your dream then your kids will. “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” – Frederick Douglass