Socioeconomic Mobility

1913 Words 8 Pages
For years, many people have come to America to achieve the American Dream. The perception is that people come to this country and in time an individual will attain socioeconomic mobility. However, this mobility is easier to achieve for some, but unattainable for others. The division of racial inequality has been proven in past history and to date, has shown no significant change. Ta-Nahesi Coates’s memoir, Between The World And Me, and Afaa Michael Weaver’s poem, “American Income” reflect similar meanings behind “the dream” and “gold” to depict that mobility was never intended nor attainable for black men. Both authors provide a glimpse of not only their personal experience and progress but that of other black men. Furthermore, a glance into …show more content…
The “terror” and “abuse” endured by black bodies helped secure a future advantage for white men to attain mobility. However, rather then acknowledge the black mans disadvantage, society has placed emphasis on the American Dream, defined as, “the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.” but past history created an uneven playing field for this dream to fulfill its true definition. Why have black men be denied the right to achieve this success of their enslaved ancestors? Was the abuse on black bodies that helped create this great nation, not hard work? The repercussions of a false dream are detrimental to that of any individual seeking to obtain it. Coates states, “because to remember would tumble them out of the beautiful Dream and force them to live down here with us, down here in the world. I am convinced that the Dreamers, at least the Dreamers of today, would rather live white than live free”(Coates 143). Coates would rather have society live in the present and make black men aware that “the dream” is not for them. To believe in “the dream” is to have conformed to white ideology and thus will only cause the black man harm in the long run. He also advises this to his son, “The people who must believe they are white can never be …show more content…
Weaver compares economic and social mobility to “gold”. In his poem the gold is something that is achievable for all groups except for black men. He states, “black men are the summary of weight” (3-4), which suggests that the history of black suffrage is embedded in black men on a psychological level. It begins with understanding how poverty and underfunded educational institutes lessen the opportunity for success in black men. Our society has preconceived notions that black men lack education, commit crimes, lack family structure, and are bad men. All these stigmas we placed on black men contributed to their dehumanization. It’s as if all the cards have been laid out for them and they must fight to remove that negative perception. Have society’s stigmas on black men created a hole so deep that change has become impossible, thus setting them up for failure? If the tables were turned and white men were to face these negative stigmas, would they succeed or forever carry the burden of “weight” on their shoulders? Maybe these stigmas were created unintentional or without realization of the consequences that it would bestow on black

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