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What if the Dream isn’t American?

What if the dream isn’t American? Is it time to broaden my horizons beyond these (American) borders? This is a question worth asking.

What if the dream isn’t American?
by Philip Cohen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What if?

What if the dream isn’t American?

What if I’m not sold on this belief?

What if my home is not this home?

What if leaving is my point of relief?

What if the Dream isn’t American?

This is a question I’ve found myself asking a lot lately.

What if the dream isn’t American?
by Johnny Silvercloud (CC BY-SA 2.0)

All my life I’ve been fed this notion that America is the dream, but I’d like to explore my options in this dream department.

Is it finally time for my head to catch up with my heart and rethink this idea of home?

by Johnny Silvercloud (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Home is the place where the heart resides, and my heart hasn’t been here [within these borders] much lately.

The idea of expatriation has been incubating and become a realistic ideation as of late.

I don’t know maybe COVID and the lack of travel has heightened my desire for more, maybe it’s the current state of the political climate, or just maybe the trauma of seeing the bodies of my beautiful Black brothers and sisters pile up like fall leaves is the cause.

I’m exhausted with the dream or lack thereof within the corner of this world. Safety, freedom, opportunity, and family are presented as the backbone and ethos of American life.

For many of us, it has been anything but. Yet, we still carry the torch and light the path for a culture of people that won’t show up for us.

This past election fell on the very backs of Black people to clean up the messes we had no hand in.

by Cambridge Historical Commission (CC BY 2.0)

We have continuously shown up as the lifesavers of a society that refuses repeatedly in saving ours. So, why must I continue breathing life into a place that has no qualms about taking mine?

How do you heal on the lands where your trauma and abuse originate?

Deeply embedded dehumanization and oppression of Black people is a far cry from the welcomed dreamed life. It is a nightmare come true that reinvents itself time after time.

We’re taught [as Americans] to fear the worst outside of these borders while living it in our native land. But…how can we judge a place we’ve never seen or experienced through our own senses?

by Cambridge Historical Commission (CC BY 2.0)

My dream is to feel complete, safe, comforted, at peace, and celebrated in my identity – in my Black skin. It seems the dream I desire is not an attainable goal on this soil.

I understand that anti-blackness can and does occur in other corners of the world, however, a sting is better than a burn.

Sometimes living life in these borders within this Black body is like living in an inferno that never dies out.

Leaving America may not be the antidote to racism, but it could be a dream I’ve yet to realize in self-preservation. So, maybe it’s time for a great migration beyond these borders.

What if the dream isn’t American?

About the Author

Yana Reynolds
Yana Reynolds

Yana is a literary artist and avid podcaster using her superpower of writing and storytelling to connect to the heart of people.

As the co-host of the Melanated Conversations podcast, she holds space for the amplification of Black women’s voices. With listeners spanning over 80 countries, she honors the transformative narratives of Black women around the globe.

Follow her journey on Instagram and Twitter.

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