Fall/Winter 2021 issue focuses on the American Dream and the Black Child. What does the American Dream mean to you? We request submissions about dreams, visions, and aspirations for the future of Black children, their families, and their communities. Medical and social science practitioners, researchers and academicians, artists, educators one and all, and most of all parents/guardians and those who, in some form or fashion, share a lived reality with children and youth - all are encouraged to submit. What is your understanding of the origin and evolution of the so-called American Dream? How do you pass on dreams, visions, and aspirations to your children and to future generations in the midst of an ever-changing set of conditions that we now contend with? Entrenched in this nation’s founding documents are notions heralding prosperity and the pursuit of happiness for any and all via social mobility as a god given right. These professed notions have been more or less inclusive (at some time or another) regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or circumstances of birth. Is this your understanding of the American Dream? Or is this simply the official, publicly acknowledged version of the dream. Is there some unofficial version? Surely there is some unofficial version(s) of the American Dream that is explicitly less inclusive, less egalitarian, and more oppressive. We are all familiar with this alternative version as it intrudes upon Black people in our daily lives, our sensibilities, and aspirations. What is your experience, your understanding of this alternative American Dream? How has this unofficial version of the American Dream affected you and your children? More importantly, how do we instill and nurture the dreams and aspirations of Black children given this juxtaposition?
Notions of opportunity and great material success were intricately tied to the discovery of the New World. Europeans risked the arduous journey to the New World in pursuit of religious and political freedom but also dreamed of treasures like
gold, tobacco, fountains of youth … and in turn led to the exploitation of indigenous natives and the African people. The American Dream has gone through many changes over the years but still espouses what has been called its official core tenets
of freedom, economic/material success, and the pursuit of happiness. At the same time contemporary cultural divides have seen conflict between races, ethnicities, immigrant and natural born; and extreme class and economic inequality. Indeed, one might say that it means different things to different people(s), and this often obscures the fundamental problems of its core tenets. White nationalists have quite vocally claimed the American Dream for whites only. Yet there is recent popular interest in programs and initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and equality in many public and private entities. Everyone has a more or less conscious/explicit dream or vision of what they would like to see achieved for themselves, their children, loved ones and others. These dreams or visions may or may not conform with the American Dream and its core tenets of freedom, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness. We are interested in hearing from you about how you live or envision that dream and how you instill such dreams in your children. More specifically, we are interested in works that address the following:
• Freedom from what? To do what?
• Is there some other metric(s) of success besides consumerism and the trappings of material wealth?
• What institutions seem to play major roles in disseminating American Dream values and its core tenets?
• What vision or dream or aspiration do you see that is uniquely Black and derived from our African heritage?
• Are there alternative visions that are concerned with mother earth and/or our relationship to nature
• Are you involved in efforts to resist American consumerism/materialism/anti-Black racism and what dreams are associated with
Members of the editorial staff of the Black Child Journal and the National Rites of Passage Institute will manage the peer-review process. All parts of the manuscript should be submitted electronically as an attachment to the email (“Manuscript Submission” in the subject box) to firstname.lastname@example.org Submissions should be in MS Word documents (.doc) format, not converted to PDF’s, and without embedded commands or special formatting. All photos should be submitted as separate JPEG files. References, tables, charts, other texts, art-graphics, and appendices should be included at the end of the document. Submissions should be received by November 15 at 11:59 pm (EST). The authors are asked to submit a short bio and a black and white JPEG photo as a separate attachment. Notification of papers selected for publication will be made by email - Unsolicited manuscripts are welcomed.
When submitting your article for consideration, please ensure it conforms to the following guidelines:
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