Learn It, Live It, Love It: The American Dream Edition - America's Future Foundation

July 3, 2020

Culture

Learn It, Live It, Love It: The American Dream Edition

By: Cindy Cerquitella

This Independence Day Weekend looks quite different than most. Our nation is fighting both physical and spiritual battles on all fronts, and while tackling these challenges is vital, it can be healing and motivating to take time to appreciate where we are and what we’ve accomplished, to remember what we fight for each and every day. I’ve seen this quote from James Baldwin quite a bit this year, and I think it perfectly captures my own feelings: “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, it is for that reason, that I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” 

I encourage you to celebrate this weekend however you see fit and to keep your eye on the prize — an opportunity for anyone to achieve the American Dream, with Liberty and Justice for all. 

Learn it:
To better understand the complicated feelings people grapple with this year, read Frederick Douglass’ great speech, What to a Slave is the 4th of July? And enjoy this great post from the Institute for Humane Studies’ Emily Chamlee-Wright on Living up to the Liberal Promise

Live it:
As I will recommend every year until the end of time, read the Declaration of Independence (out loud, and to all your friends ideally), Watch episode two of HBO’s John Adams miniseries, and this year, because you can, get a Disney+ trial and watch Hamilton when it begins streaming today. (I dare you not to get inspired during Yorktown).

Add these tunes to your BBQ playlist: 

America the Beautiful, the Ray Charles version

Freedom, Jimi Hendrix 

Freedom, Pharell Williams

If you’re in DC:  Join us at AFF HQ the evening of July 10th and over brunch on July 11th for a viewing party of the Friedman Conference — a 24 hour, global freedom extravaganza.  If you can’t join us in person, sign up here to stream the conference from your own safe haven. The lineup for this conference is out of this world! 

Love it:
Revisit this wonderful speech from Ronald Reagan, his last in office, where he outlines what makes America such a special place.