James Baldwin's Essay: American Identity

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American identity
American identity is an identity of people who share the same beliefs, culture, values and things like same history and political views. From the beginning of history, Americans have defined themselves through their traditions that are based on ethnicity, work, play, community life and generally, their diverse cultures. However, America is becoming more and more diverse as time passes by, raising questions as to what it really means by an American identity. How Americans see themselves today and how the world views them is a question that many people are asking themselves today. Whether there is a culture that is well based on the culture and values of the Americans or not, it is difficult to define what an American identity …show more content…

He describes through his texts the difficulties of being a black American. He narrates how he constantly searched and battled within himself to come into terms with his “rightful” identity and place according to the American community that was racial dominated. As a black American writer, he found it difficult to find a sense of belonging in a society that had occupied almost the entire homeland. To escape this racial entrapment, he moved to Europe to search for his own identity which saw him move from one city to another. Unlike America, Baldwin was able to find his identity in Europe because he was even able to establish himself as a writer. He was also able to shed away the shame and hatred that separated him before from the Americans and this explains why in Europe, he was able to get along with other people so …show more content…

For instance, his poem “let America be America” shows the injustices that are still experienced in the present day America. Hugh was also from the minority group and experienced the prejudices therefore his poems are based on experience rather than witness. In this poem, Hugh presents his feelings about how America should be, a dream land with equal opportunities for all its occupants regardless of their race, religion and color (Hugh 83). However, America has become a place of racial discrimination, greed and materialism. Perhaps, the opposing voices in the poem speak of the idea that America was never “great” and that it may never have been the dream land that many think, but rather a country that is full of deception, racial prejudice and

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