© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Perspective: The American Dream

Christiane Wilden

Recently, I was on the phone with a friend from Ghana. He talked about the struggles he has living there, such as finding a well-paying job and going to school. Not having access to certain resources makes life tougher for him. That’s why many people his age start going online and scamming people.

We finished our conversation with him talking about his desire to move out of Ghana for more opportunities. Of the places he listed, the United States was one of them. This conversation made me think about the relevance of the American Dream. Is it still alive? If it is, how does our definition of the American Dream compare to our ancestors’ own?

I believe it is still alive, but it has changed drastically because of advancements in media. The United States is far from a perfect country. We deal with racial, political, and socioeconomic divides that have caused many problems. Also, we face issues such as mass shootings and police distrust that do not seem as prevalent in other countries.

Back in the late 1800s, immigrants came to America in droves because it was a land for fresh starts and new opportunities. Early forms of American media portrayed it as a perfect beacon of hope to dreamers around the world. Now, America is still a beacon of hope, but hopefuls can see that it is not all that perfect.

My friend from Ghana knows some of the problems we deal with, but he is still eager to come here. America’s imperfections may deter some but learning and accepting them can help people’s dreams become more of a reality.

Jabari Cox is a student at Northern Illinois University, pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a minor in Spanish. He was born and raised on the small Caribbean island of St. Croix. Jabari has a love for God, music, computers, and other world cultures.