The American Creed can mean a lot of different things to different people because America is a diverse country. Many people have their own American dream and what that means to them, or how they will achieve it in their lifetime. America is diverse in many ways including religion, origin, race, and morals. All Americans have their unique experience being American and this can influence their belief in their own American creed. The American Creed film shows different perspectives of diverse Americans. The speakers Condoleezza Rice, David M. Kennedy, and Deidre Prevett give good examples of their own experiences and how it affected their understanding of the American creed. They show how diverse Americans should come together to build strong communities that uplift the next generation.
Condoleezza Rice's perspective in the film gave the background of what she values and her history of being an American: "For Black American families, education became a holy grail" (Source A). Rice explains how her grandfather always worked hard for his education. He always wanted to make sure he succeeded in life and that the next generation would too. Many black people at this time faced a lot of discrimination and racism. Having an education and getting access to it was very vital to them because it gave them an opportunity to live their American dream, such as helping their community, getting out of poverty, and succeeding in life. Another great example Rice gave in the film was the importance of persevering: "Doesn't matter where you came from, it only matters where you're going" (Source A). Rice spoke about the significance of succeeding as an American and all the opportunities you have. She inspires us as Americans to work for our dream disregarding our race, identity, and culture. No matter who you are or where you come from, in America you have the opportunity to be successful if you are willing to work hard for it. To have aspirations and to be able to achieve them is the American dream. In addition, Rice shares the seriousness of how she values her community, faith, and family. This is what she most values and also wants her community to also succeed with her.
Moreover, David M. Kennedy also shares his father's perspective on his own American dream. Kennedy talks about how deeply his father was affected by the great depression of 1929. He became unemployed and was unable to provide for himself and his new wife: "He felt as if he had failed himself and the dream life he created for himself"( Source B). His father's American dream was to support his family as best as he could, but he felt as if he had failed himself: " He felt guilty and ashamed for the situation they were experiencing" (Source B). America has made this standard that if you worked, you could provide for your own family and have prosperity. In my opinion, the reality was completely different. People were blaming themselves for not having enough money during the great depression. Kennedy's father was completely ashamed of himself. Kennedy explained that it was caused by the economic failures of the whole country and it wasn’t his father's fault. We cannot blame ourselves for failure when the American economy fails us. Kennedy states what it means to struggle as an American: "We need to pay attention to the gap between the promise and reality"(Source B). The American dream means working towards a goal. If his father would’ve had an Irish-American community or a Catholic community to support him and assure him, he could’ve supported his family and not felt as if he were a failure. We as a community need to unite and support one another. We need to help each other overcome obstacles together and give back to each other. Kennedy learned from his father’s struggles to ask his community for help. The community can help. Kennedy now serves his community by teaching history at Stanford University. He became the first in his family to go to college. Community is essential to our American creed that we can be anything we want to be as long as we don’t leave others behind.
In addition, to Source A and Source B, Deidre Prevett talks about how education is very important to her. She's a principal in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is constantly working with elementary kids: "My American dream was to become an educator" (Source D). Prevett values being American because she has the opportunities other people may not have. She feels fortunate to be the fifth generation to be able to go to college and study education. She values the resources she is able to have and provide for her students. She is also able to teach them about her culture which helps unite them despite their differences. She claims, "Education is the key to success" (Source D). Education could take you and your family further in life and give them opportunities. It gives them a future they look forward to and will pass on to the next generation to live their American dream. Prevett builds a community within her kids and teaches them about the importance of being there for one another. She connects the kids to their community by talking about their culture and identity.
Lastly, the combined conclusions of Source A (Condoleezza Rice), Source B (David M. Kennedy), and Source D (Deidre Prevett) show how each diverse American understands the American Creed. All of these speakers believe something different about the American Creed. All of these speakers come from different ethnicities, traditions, and cultures so they are all diverse. However, they show how diverse Americans should come together to build strong communities that uplift the next generation.