ERIC Number: ED341073
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-22
Identifying the Myths: Lies That Fetter the Human Spirit.
Tolliver, Johnny E.
"Our World," by Virginia prison inmate Marvin Atkinson, is a poem which aptly describes the isolation of Black Americans from the national ideals that America represents. To most Blacks these ideals are myths that continue not only to elude them but enslave them. Four American myths which stand in the way of 30 million Black people who are still struggling for true freedom in this country are: the "American Dream"; Equality; Equal Opportunity; and Blind Justice. The American Dream suggests that every American can get a job, own a home, have a wonderful family, and live happily as a full American, but for most Blacks, however, the Dream does not exist; they earn less than Whites, have a harder time getting a mortgage, and frequently live in poverty. Furthermore, the country's historically Black colleges and universities are in danger of losing their state support. Opponents of these schools argue that Black colleges are no longer relevant in an integrated university community. This is obviously not true, since almost half of Black students who graduate from college graduate from Black colleges. The unequal allocation of resources between Black and other colleges parallels the unequal system of justice in America. While those responsible for the savings and loan scandal get a slap on the wrist, a Black who robs a bank gets a maximum sentence. If America is ever to become the democracy that it is not, the lies of the American Dream--equality, equal opportunity, and justice--will have to become realities for Blacks. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A