Opinion | What Happened to Your American Dream?

When and how did your “American dream” die? This is the question the artist Lizania Cruz puts to readers of her project “Obituaries of the American Dream,” commissioned by El Museo del Barrio in New York to feature in its first national survey of contemporary work by Latinx artists. The project defines the “American dream” as “the ideal that all individuals can achieve upward mobility based on their hard work” and invites the public to share their experiences, which she posts daily on the project’s website.

A participant, Justin, writes that his dream ended on the day he arrived in Los Angeles and realized that his community was “never expected to develop sustainability outside the realm of manual labor. It was the day my soul split in two.” Others wrote of a trip to the barrios of Puerto Rico, of being shamed because they couldn’t contribute to the collection basket at Sunday Mass, of the day Malcolm X was killed.

Have you lost faith in your “American dream”? Tell us about it on the form below. We’ll share a selection of your experiences in Sunday’s Opinion section. Your story may also be included on the project’s website and in future works of art by Ms. Cruz.

When and how did your “American dream” die?

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