I am America. The embodiment of a vision articulated over 200 years ago. Change. The words were clear, but their application is yet to be fully understood. Change; from the oppression of a people deprived of the simplest freedoms. Change; from exiles to citizens. My development has been a long, at times arduous, evolution. Many shed blood for the sake of change, while others demonstrated, took abuse, and survived through discrimination; all because they believed they were entitled to making a contribution to this American canvas.
This canvas…my composition made up of the blood, sweat, and tears of those who had the audacity to believe their fight was worth fighting…their dreams worth dreaming. From the Native American, to the religious outcast; the slave, to the migrant worker hoping for a better opportunity-each has made a significant brush stroke to this American picture.
I am forever evolving. I am not the same as I was a century, decade, a year, or even a moment ago. As I have changed, I have influenced change within others. They have seen possibilities, opportunities, and realities they would never have witnessed coming to fruition within the frames of their own pictures.
Fuchs called me a “kaleidoscope.” Adams called the idea of me, a “dream.” King dreamed of me becoming something better than what I was. The beauty of my appeal is that I embody so many descriptions, but not one can fully ascribe to all aspects of what I am, of who I am.
So…who am I? Open? Malleable? Versatile? Resilient?
I am America.