24th #AllAmerican Portrait: Nicolas

First name: Nicolas

What does it mean to be American?

Being American involves the suspension of disbelief, a dream state of hopes.
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23rd #AllAmerican Portrait: Phi

First name: Phi

What does it mean to be American?

For me, being American means learning how to hold two completely contradictory narratives in one space.  It means trying to reconcile the ideals of justice, freedom, and equality to which we aspire with the reality that  our country is built and sustained on slavery, white supremacy, and erasure of people of color.  It means being grateful to the strangers who welcomed my refugee family to America with open arms and uplifted by their kindness while still deep down recognizing that this country has never wholly belonged to me. 
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21st #AllAmerican Portrait: Esther

First name: Esther

What does it mean to be American?

I believe that to be American is to be fundamentally tied to the struggles, the suffering, and the triumphs that compose the U.S. and its systems, culture, politics, and history. Americanness manifests in about as many forms as there are people in this country, but the common denominator lies in having been shaped by America – this weird, often dissonant, sometimes insidiously or beautifully harmonious amalgam of institutions, ideologies, peoples, and cultures, oppressive or resistive, public or private. We, as Americans, have identities born from and continually molded by the ways in which we interact and engage – not always consciously and not always of our own volition – with it. Continue reading “21st #AllAmerican Portrait: Esther”

19th #AllAmerican Portrait: JJ

First name: JJ*

What does it mean to be American?

Being American means constantly coming to terms with our country’s past and present litany of injustices and figuring out how best to confront them; to constantly be honest with yourself and others around you about the inequalities that exist in this country and our role in perpetuating them; and finally, to always have the courage to stand up for what is right/be a social justice warrior at home and beyond.
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18th #AllAmerican Portrait: Sabrina (II)

First name: Sabrina

What does it mean to be American?

Being American is about all coming together with a mindset to be united. I believe it is to be proud of of where you come from and cherishing the diversity we have in this country. It’s about staying together and lifting each other up in any event despite political views. It is to treat everyone with equal respect, an open mind and with a kind heart. Continue reading “18th #AllAmerican Portrait: Sabrina (II)”

17th #AllAmerican Portrait: Lalit/Choice

First name: Lalit (aka, Choice)

What does it mean to be American?

To be American is to be kind, to be nice, to be all-inclusive. To work as a team towards one goal: to better America–from everyday life to the nation as a whole. To be patriotic as lovers of America, and to be humble even though we know a good part of the world looks up to us, to keep on striving for excellence for future Americans and the impact we have on the world as America.
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