Historical evidence from the reconstruction period and evidence from contemporary events show that being an Americans comes alongside various privileges and rights.  Portraits of Elected Black Officials During Reconstruction, a document about elected officials during the Reconstruction states, “thousands of african americans were elected to local and state governments throughout the Southern States.” This demonstrates that as US citizens regardless of race can be allowed and have the right to be elected in the house of representatives. It is a privilege to have representation in office because they are responsible for lawmaking in our country. With diversity in the House of Representatives people from different races can share the voice and ensure that everyone is benefitted from our laws. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment, says that “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws.”  This quotation shows that a US citizen shall not be put under any slavery, has the right to vote and shall be protected under the law. While in theory to be an American can be a privilege because of the rights we are granted, recent history shows otherwise because of education inequalities. In the article, Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School, it is discussed that the school systems are “ inequitably funded and inequitably distributed.” It is also argued that, “electives, field trips, art classes, and gifted and talented programs available in wealthier districts have been cut in poorer ones.” Even though recent events show that not everyone has the same level of privilege, ultimately we are all advantaged. Having the opportunity to even secure an education is a privilege and it is more fulfilling that is a right for us Americans in the United States to get an education. In conclusion, it is a right and privilege to be an American.


  • Document A
  • U.S. Constitution, Amendments 13-15. Retrieved from http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm#amendments. 
  • Document D
  • Portraits retrieved from the Library of Congress website, http://www.loc.gov/index.html.f

CC BY-SA 4.0 Being an American by Hala is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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