Op-Ed – Thoughts On The American Dream

By Serena Zets – 10th Grade, Pittsburgh CAPA

In 1931, American writer and historian James Adams coined the term, “The American Dream.” He wrote, “Life should be richer & fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement,” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. Today, The American Dream is as relevant as it was in 1931. While, the ideal has evolved to be more inclusive, it mainly remains the same. It is an ideal that reinforces the belief that the financial success of white Americans is the only form of success that matters. By stating that hard work and dedication is the only way to achieve success, it invalidates the roadblocks and microagressions that Americans of color face daily. It doesn’t take into account the privilege that certain people are given just by being born. It says that everyone is born with the same opportunities, which is simply not true. Thus, the concept of American Dream is still possible, but a revamp is necessary. I believe that our generation will be the ones who redefine this ubiquitous term. We’ve already acknowledged that change needs to happen in other aspects of our lives. We’re leading revolutionary change in spaces from the Black Lives Matter Movement to the body positivity movement. The whole world is listening, we just have to figure out what it is we want to say. That’s a daunting task, but if we don’t do it, who will?


Serena Zets Serena Zets is a sophomore at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School. At CAPA, her discipline is literary arts where she received the opportunity to take part in an introductory journalism course. She is a resident of Squirrel Hill where she bakes, reads, and most importantly sleeps.


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