American Dream: How Can We Achieve the Unachievable?

Throughout many different cultures around the world, The American Dream is a glorified ideal and way of life. While many people both within, and outside of the United States strive for this dream, in actuality, for the vast majority of the population, it presents fictitious and unrealistic expectations. An ideal that grew off of the colonization of other cultures, and a goal of growth and attainment; in reality, The American Dream stemmed from, and created more hurt than healing. This video reveals some of the truths about American history that are often disregarded in pursuit of concealing the oppression that exists in order to create an idealistic picture of what America is and that attaining The American Dream is realistic.

Not only does The American Dream present some impractical expectations for the vast majority of the population, but it also causes many people to face an internal identity conflict once they reach the United States while striving to attain their own American Dream. Throughout Americanah, we see Ifemelu struggle with this identity conflict. Is she black American? African-American? Just American? Nigerian? Where do the components of her presence, like her hairstyle, accent, and clothing fit into these categories? Given these experiences that Ifemelu went through, would she too agree with the three girls from the video that “the greatest lessons in America are the ones that you don’t remember learning”?


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