American Creed

Posted by Madisynn J. Montana
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The American Creed film

In America there are many different races and backgrounds. Some people have moved here from different countries when they were little, and some people have always lived here. There are some people who think that people from different countries should come to America to fulfill their dreams of having a good life and succeeding at life. According to Leila Janah, the founder and CEO of Samasource and also an author, says the most important American value is “equal opportunity, I think that that’s one of the cornerstones of our identity as a nation.” Leila Janah thinks that is someone who comes to America should be treated the same as someone who has lived here their whole lives.

Another thing that Leila Janah talks about in the American Creed film is that there are a lot of people who come to America to make their dreams a reality. She explains that “we have the belief that your destiny isn’t handed to you and it’s not guaranteed, you have to fight for it and work for it and those who fight hardest will succeed.” Janah is pointing out that if you do not fight hard for what you want then you will not get it or get to where you want to be. Deidre Prevett, a principal at Lindbergh Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, says “I think the American Dream is enjoying freedom, but with freedom comes great responsibility.” She thinks that we need to focus on where we want to be, but we can’t forget where we came from.

In an interview for On Being, Junot Diaz, who is a writer, fiction editor, and professor, said, “I’m a child of blackness. Blackness was not meant to survive, and we have survived. And we have thrived. And we’ve given this world more genius than we have ever received.” Diaz explains that we all should have equal opportunity no matter what gender, ethnicity, or race we are. We all should be treated the same and we all should be able to succeed the way other people are. Diaz says that, when he was growing up, black people weren’t supposed to succeed and they weren’t supposed to thrive. He says that we need to value each other and what they are doing while we are trying to get to where we want to be.

Deidre Prevett, Leila Janah, and Junot Diaz are letting others know that not everyone was born into a wealthy and successful family, some people have to work hard to get to where they want to be. We all need to work together to get to where we want to be and we need to value everyone else along the way. They think that every single person should have the same opportunities as the next person and that we need to remember where we started out and where we came from so that we can help everyone else. Prevett, Janah, and Diaz all think that doing these things is a way of living your own version of the American Dream. 

Published on May 21, 2018
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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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