I believe that being American means being able to become anything you want to be, freedom and opportunity. That which you have to fight fiercely for unless you are of the one superior race. One race has all of the advantages from birth and everyone else faces discrimination, hardship and poverty. Being American means that everyone has an opportunity to succeed, depending upon what race you belong to determines how much harder it is to actually succeed. African Americans, especially men, face discrimination from those in positions to help them.

During Reconstruction, this idea was demonstrated when the “Civil Rights Act of 1875” was repealed by the supreme court in Civil Rights Cases

This example shows that laws in favor in helping black people gain full citizenship and justice were put down because many white people still believed in a system where African Americans were at the bottom and didn’t deserve to share the same rights with them.

Similarly, events in modern times illustrate that black men are constantly harmed by authorities who are supposed to be there for help and security because the authorities are set in a position for African Americans to continuously fail.

In recent history, an African American rap artist was sentenced 2-4 years for a technical probation violation while a white rapist was sentenced to 6 months. This event shows that for many in America where there is indeed opportunities for all to succeed regardless of sex or race, there are entire systems to hinder certain peoples from succeeding and make opportunities unequal.

These events share many commonalities because they show the most prevalent struggles of the African American communities of their times and show that there is a system against African Americans hindering them from being able successful as a people.


CC BY-SA 4.0 What Does it mean to be an American? by Meshach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Anthony 2 years ago

    Hello Meshach, I loved your post and at many times I kept thinking about the idea that is very hurting to me that a Caucasian vs African America in a court most times depending on where you are in the US, the Caucasian individual will have a less server pushiment than the African American individual, and the Caucasian is compensate by the statmenet “this individual has a mental illness” which for the African American doesn’t apply and therefore would only favor one individual. I found that “in 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.” Injustice between two individuals because of color does exist in punishment and I believe both individuals should be handled the same and accordingly, favoring both, not just one race.


  2. Treyvon 2 years ago

    Hello Meshach,
    I really enjoyed reading your post and hearing about what you believe being an American is. I appreciated how you engaged in the topic of racial discrimination in terms of the law and how there are very few African Americans in positions of judicial power. This often puts African Americans at a disadvantage in life because they have more sever punishments compared to the punishments of Caucasian people when committing the same crimes. I liked how you addressed the Civil Rights topic to enhance your credibility on this subject, it provides a better understanding for the reader as well as a trust in the information that you provide. I found an article that shows the problem with how the judicial system sentences people from different races for the same crimes committed.


    All in all, I really enjoyed reading your article and am looking forward to reading some more of your writing.


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