My essay : Exploration to National Identity is based off 3 people from the documentary American Creed. Joe Maddon, Condoleezza Rice, and Deidre Prevett resonate about the same topic; Community, Education, and Freedom.

The documentary American Creed had different perspectives from 6 different people. From my understanding, the following people; Joe Maddon, Condoleezza Rice, and Deidre Prevett all believe in community building and freedom. To be specific, all three speakers have faith; they believe there is always an opportunity with family to overcome the past by making a better future for everyone else. With freedom you can be anything as stated by Joe, “I think you have to be pretty self confident. If you don’t have good self esteem, all sorts of things can intimidate you.” Maddon, Rice, and Prevett know that following the path and journey of education and community will lead to success and freedom for the next generation to build a better future.

Joe Maddon is working on a project called the Hazleton Integration project which is supposed to build a better bond with his hometown community, Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The reason why Joe Maddon is doing this project is because his town has had hatred acts making his town discriminate many. To that point, that is why team manager of the Chicago Cubs, Joe Maddon wants to make a community building with kids so that many of different races and ethnicities can join together. As he believes in team bonding he wants to be of service to kids as well. The following project will convey the people from Hazleton because “They all wanted to improve life for their children but it was tough.” According to the town, the situation of discrimination was a ferocious stress between whites and people of color. Joe Maddon believes that if he can loosen up that tension by starting many activity programs, such as boxing, baseball, and other sports to make a team bonding in between the kids first, and later work with the parents. As said by Joe “The moment we trust each other. That’s when we can build something.” This will make a better chance for the kids that are growing up throughout the generations, it will give them a better opportunity of freedom and to experience a world without the past circumstances that had lasted for about 2 generations. As stated by Joe, his grandfather and his father's experience with Hazleton was watching the town fight each other. Living with freedom is what will bring trust and respect.

On the other hand Deidre Prevett has a similar idea of serving for the children and making them feel loved. She believes in the power of education and it is her key to self improvement as this passion has been passed down for generations to be an educator as well as being a Creek Indian. Prevett’s family has passed down 5 generations of being an educator and now she is principal at the school for 6 years, that is why being an educator is her American dream as she says, “The message was education is the key to success and to better yourself.” Prevett believes that with a better education more kids will have more opportunities as this connects to Joe Maddon because many kids move a lot and come to new places, and it normally is hard for kids to feel comfortable in a new environment. As much as kids have struggles at home, Prevett perseveres through the obstacles and she wants kids from the future to have an opportunity, “With freedom comes great responsibility.” As a fact, she speaks for education, community service by “paying it forward.” Considering the following, she explains that her family was lucky to not live in poverty because her Creek land had oil. To put in other words, many native americans live in poverty for reasons such as being in welfare and incarceration. This made it very difficult for Prevett’s family to forcely live in this situation as they were luckily able to pay it off one day by using all their oil money to pay for college for 5 generations to be educators. This resonates with her actions of educating and helping children because,“We can’t forget where we come from.” This quote is important because it shows resistance and it implies to; “While we are a melting pot, we can’t forget where we’ve come from and we all need to learn about each others’ history.” This makes us acknowledge that community building is about trust and we shouldn’t be afraid to open up about our past.

The notion of this matters because Rice affirms that education is also important, as she says; “If you could be educated … for Black American families, education became the Holy Grail … that access to education was going to change everything.” Another example of having an American dream means you have the ability and the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Be who you want to be, “ it doesn’t matter where you’ve been it only matters where you’re going” (Source A). Similarly her connection with education is also her self improvement as that path made her serve the country as a secretary of state (Bush admin) and become a prof. of political science at Stanford. The quote “It doesn’t matter where you come from; it only matters where you are going” connects to Prevett because they also lived with struggles as Rice’s grandparents and great-grandparents were cotton pickers and slaves. Nevertheless, they relate because Rice's grandpa saved up his cotton so that he could pay for his college education, and it shows “There are always going to be gaps between a country’s aspirations and what the reality is” (Source A). To acknowledge Rice’s remarks is that “You can be and do anything you want, you just can’t leave others behind” that is why she believes in faith, life, community, and education as well. To that point, education is important to her because growing up with her family education protected her from discrimination.

In conclusion, Maddon, Prevett, and Rice are similar because they all believe in community service as well as faith. Ups and downs are significant because although you can’t forget about the past, in the end with freedom you can change and get what you want with community and education.

UCLA CS AP Language & Composition

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