James Truslow Adams's American Dream

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In his 1931 book, Epic America, James Truslow Adams described America as the “land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man [or woman], with opportunity for each according to his [or her] ability or achievement” (The American Dream). Adams’s description of America, in the 1930s, contributed to the now well-known belief that America is the land of opportunity. As Adams stated, America is not only the land of opportunity, it is also the land of equal opportunity. Each person is endowed with the opportunity to either succeed or fail, and one’s outcome is solely dependent on his or her own ability. What Adams described was the American dream. And unlike other countries, Adams’s American dream was not margined by caste…show more content…
It became clear that opportunity was typically awarded to most white males; while almost everyone else had to make do with the leftover scraps. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s demonstrated that one’s racial status played a role in how much opportunity was granted to each person. The Deaf movement of the 1960s illustrated that one’s physical abilities limited what type of opportunity was granted to him or her. And the Women’s movement of the 1960s revealed that opportunity was gender dependent. Yet, it is because of each of these movement (and the fact that they overlapped and created a decremented effect) that more chance of opportunity was granted to minority groups. There was more opportunity for minorities in jobs, education, and social status. Yes, there was progress in granting equal opportunity to everyone, but it was not enough because opportunity still is not equal in…show more content…
Affirmative action is defined as a set of procedures (by a government program or private program) designed to remedy historic, current, and future injustices (such as; discriminatory practices in employment and in education) that minority group members encounter. Affirmative action was created so that minority group applicants are treated fairly and, without regard to their sex, race, disabilities, age, creed, color, or national origin (Legal Information Institute, Affirmative Action; The Free Dictionary). Affirmative action does not guarantee results. As explained by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education Fund: Affirmative action programs are meant to break down barriers, both visible and invisible, to level the playing field, and to make sure everyone is given an equal break. They are not meant to guarantee equal results -- but instead proceed on the common-sense notion that if equality of opportunity were a reality, African Americans, women, people with disabilities and other [minority] groups facing discrimination would be fairly represented in the nation's workforce and educational institutions (The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights & The Leadership Conference Education

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