What It Means to be American Essay

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What it means to be American? Everybody you ask this question to will have a completely different response. Some responses might have similarities but none will be exactly the same. In the beginning of the year my response was “To be an American means having a rich history, having opportunities to better ourselves, and having freedoms.” Unfortunately not everyone has had the same opportunities or freedoms. Native Americans, who are indigenous, dealt with having their freedoms taken away, less opportunities even though they had rich history in this land before it was taken away from them. Look at what Zitkala-Sa endured. Not only that, but African Americans have fought long and hard for freedom and equality as well. W.E.B. Du Bois stood for…show more content…
Freedoms taken away from her in the hope for education and opportunities. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to give up freedoms, maybe a little bit of ourselves? Do we endure these difficulties now to then better ourselves in the future? I’m sure that’s something Zitkala-Sa thought about. She wanted to be educated like the “paleface” Maybe she thought to be like the “paleface” was to be American. For Zitkala-Sa the ending is a bitter-sweet moment. “There were two prizes given, that night, and one of them was mine! The little taste of victory did not satisfy a hunger in my heart. In my mind I saw my mother far away on the Western plains, and she was holding a charge against me.” Booker T. Washing had a view of what it was to be American. In “Up From Slavery”, his address made in Atlanta, Booker T. Washington says “Cast down your bucket where you are.” In effect, he proposed that African Americans should accommodate themselves to racial segregation and political disenfranchisement in order to enjoy a greater degree of economic security. “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” Booker T.

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