The American Dream is the idea that anyone, regardless of background, can become successful. This dream can represent the opportunity to escape difficult circumstances and the ability to build a better life.
Despite the many challenges facing those that immigrate to the United States, the idea of the American Dream is a driving force behind the decision to forge a new path.
Though the concept of the American Dream is subjective, systemic inequalities, discrimination and other barriers exist that can make achieving the dream a much more difficult task. Here are a few memorable reads you won't soon forget.
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue explores the lives of the Jonga family, Cameroonian immigrants in New York City in 2007. Despite threats to his marriage and his ability to remain in the country, Jende Jonga remains determined to attain the American Dream. Told in a vivid, unforgettable way, this read will put you on an unexpected journey.
A Free Life by Ha Jin follows the Wu family, who move from China to the United States for a better life. Focusing on the struggles to adapt to a new culture and changing family dynamics, we experience the challenges of Nan Wu in his pursuit to fulfill his dream of becoming a poet.
I Was Their American Dream, a memoir by Malaka Gharib, explores cultural differences, belonging and what it means to be American while also being a child of immigrant parents. Gharib explores her Filipino-Egyptian heritage and upbringing in this incredibly humorous and endearing graphic novel.
Immigration and the American Dream are important and complex interwoven concepts that have existed since the founding of the United States. Despite the obstacles, the pursuit of the American Dream is about giving everyone an equal chance to prosper in the land of opportunity regardless of race, class, religion, culture, or origin.
Do you have a favorite book about the American Dream? Let us know in the comments.