Define American

Transcending politics through a new conversation

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  • My Journey to El Norte

    | Anonymous

    One cold morning of December 1993, my two siblings and I embarked in a journey that would forever change our life. I remember my Grandfather walking with us from our home in our small town to the bus central station. We knew that we were heading out to “al norte” as it is commonly known in my town. As the bus drove through the middle of the town leaving…

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  • Northwest Yeshiva High School Defines American

    | Anonymous

    With my juniors, I'm teaching American Literature, and I realized very early on that I can't teach American Literature without getting to the heart of what that word "American" means. We did an exercise where I asked them what does it mean to be American. So if we stop being everybody, and we start being everybody except "blank," especially if "blank" is a particular shade of person, I think…

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  • Victor Defines American

    | Anonymous

    Victor is 19 years old and lives in the suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. He moved to the U.S. from Mexico 13 years ago when he was 6. Victor wants to be a history teacher.

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  • The Golden Door

    | Anonymous

    "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, Tempest-tossed to me I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    These are the words on the Statue of Liberty welcoming the immigrants of the world to the Super Power of the world. America is the light of the world, it is that very…

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  • Firsthand Witness

    | Anonymous

    I am a US citizen, born in America to a Cuban mother and Ecuadorean father, neither of whom had any problems gaining permanent residency when they first arrived here. I have been spared the tragic impotence felt by many when they cannot do the basic, everyday things the rest of us take for granted.

    By chance, my first boyfriend of 7 years didn't have his papers. It was…

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