The American Dream in the 1960's

By Mariah and Claire

Events, People, Movements, Ideas, Norms and Perceptions

During this time, racism against and segregation of African Americans was extremely prevalent. Martin Luther King Jr. was attempting to spread racial equality amongst the population. The Civil Rights Movement was underway, resulting in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ideas regarding racial equality and rights emerged. However, racism was still very prominent. It was commonly thought that African Americans were the inferior race and therefore, deserved to be treated as such.
Big image

Historical Context/Definition

In the context of this article and time period, the definition of the American Dream was equality. This reflects the historical context because African Americans were segregated and viewed as inferior. There were designated areas for African Americans that were much worse than the areas for caucasians. African Americans were denied the right to vote until 1965 and interracial marriages were heavily frowned upon. The only thing African Americans desperately wanted was equality, which they were denied.


"Until the moment comes when we, the Americans, are able to accept the fact that my ancestors are both black and white, that on that continent we are trying to forge a new identity, that we need each other, that I am not a ward of America, I am not an object of missionary charity, I am one of the people that built this country - until this moment comes there is scarcely any hope for the American Dream."

"... black people are just like everybody else. We are also mercenaries, dictators, murderers, liars. We are human, too."

Both of these quotes are very indicative of the thoughts and emotions African Americans had at this time. These quotes accurately portray America as a country where ignorance was rampant and many Americans felt very strongly about racial equality.

Big image

Compare and Contrast

The article's presentation of the American Dream and the current American Dream both heavily feature equality. However, Americans now view African Americans as their equals instead of their lessers. Many more Americans now have equal rights, including women, the LGBTQ community, and immigrants. Today's American Dream is a lot more materialistic than in the past. When equality was peoples' top priority, they didn't care as much about luxuries. As circumstances change, the American Dream follows suit.

Upper Class vs Lower Class

Regardless of what class African Americans were in, they still wanted equal rights. However, the classes experienced the effects of inequality differently. Violent acts happened more often to the lower class, whereas the upper class was more respected and was treated as such.
Big image