What American Ideal Sets Our Country Apart As Unique And All Its Own Essay

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What American ideal sets our country apart as unique and all its own, different from all other countries in the world? The idea of true liberty, or freedom from oppression within society (Oxford Dictionary), can be seen throughout American culture. This quality, however, has not always been equally demonstrated to all groups of people. Ever since the founding of the country, the African-American community has strived for liberty and equality in society. After being pushed down into the chains of slavery, they began to rise and fight for what was rightfully theirs through the blood, sweat, and tears of many. The American ideal of liberty has gradually expanded and provided new opportunities for the once enslaved community of African-Americans; this expansion has been the result of the lifelong efforts and struggles of members of that community like Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, Mr. Ryder, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington. Olaudah Equiano grew up as a free boy in Africa. In his narrative, he defined liberty when describing his village as celebrating “every great event… in public dances, which [were] accompanied with songs and music suited to the occasion” (Equiano 356). Before Africans were enslaved, they were a free race in their own land. The native Africans understood liberty as the ability to govern themselves and hold their livelihood in their own hands. This all changed for Equiano when one day captors “seized [him]… and ran off with [him] into the

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