American values can vary greatly among Americans, but in the three articles that I have read there is one common value that stood out. Superman and Me, American Street, and the Preamble of the United States all show that one important value to Americans is the hope and fight for a better life.  

In Superman and me, the author Sherman Alexie spoke about how his younger self struggled for equality in the classrooms outside of his Native American reservation. He did not stay in the shadows of the classroom or in American society. Sherman Alexie said, “As Indian children, we were expected to fail in the non-Indian world” (para 8). He fought against discrimination and worked towards a better future by learning to read and write when it was frowned upon by his teachers and community. The backlash from participating in classrooms and inequality with his classmates drove him even further. The persistence and hope he had to prove to others and himself that he could reach the same level of reading and writing as other ethnicities led him to become a famous American author. His story is unique and shares a point of view of a boy from a Native American culture in a changing America. Superman and Me informs readers that America is not always equal, but every American can strive for equality.

The book American Street by Ibi Zoboi is about a teenage girl from Haiti finding her way in America. Fabiola and her mother chose to leave Haiti because they wanted to be free, but the battle for freedom did not end when she reached America. The strong, unbreakable hope for success and happiness even after she reaches America is what makes her determination more American. It isn’t her hope alone, but her story of immigrating to America and how she copes with her struggles reflects American values. Anybody can immigrate to this country, but Fabiola’s story is one way of showing American drive and hope. Her determination for a better future mirrors America’s drive for a greater future.

The Preamble mentions American values such as peace and justice, but one value that I’m focusing on is the improvement of our country. In the first line of the Preamble, it states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union” tells us how Americans are trying to make a better country every day, meaning that America isn’t perfect but there is an effort to reach it. This is a great representation of American values because it states it in our Constitution, which maps out the foundation of our government and society.

 

“Preamble We the People.” Preamble – IC – We the People, constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/preamble. Accessed 27 Sept. 2017.

Zoboi, Ibi. American Street. S.l., Balzer Bray, 2018.

 

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p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.38;margin-top: 0pt;margin-bottom: 0pt;margin-left: 36pt”>Alexie, Sherman. Superman and me. Los Angeles Times, 19 April 1998.

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