My Dungeon Shook

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Ryan Malecha Analysis paper Final Draft Is the American Dream free What is the American dream? Everyone around the world believes in the American dream. It’s an idea that enticed many immigrants to come to America. They wanted to have a house to raise their family in, a job that would pay for their needs and wants, and freedom from violence, poverty, and lack of opportunity that they felt in the country they came from. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence, which states that "all men are created equal" and that they have certain inalienable rights that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Does the American dream belong to everyone? The American dream has shaped America. However, the American dream didn’t apply to everyone; Africans were forced here by slave traders before the Emancipation Proclamation existed many years ago. They were forced to America not knowing what it would be like. When they got here they saw that people came here willingly, they wanted to come and receive a piece of their own American dream. However, the Africans soon found out that this “American dream” did not include everyone. Africans were not happy or free. James Baldwin's essay, “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation,” shows how African Americans don’t receive their piece of the American dream. Baldwin writes this letter as an essay to his nephew to help guide him through his life. The best advice he gives is meant to bolster his nephew in a racist society, “I tell you this because I love you, and please don’t you ever forget it” (1). He tells him how his father was destroyed by whites calling him the N-word. He wants his nephew to let it go in one ear and out the other, and understand that what they say
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