The myth of the great American dream promised an abundance of well-paying jobs, big houses, widespread freedom, numerous opportunities, and beautiful land, which were all waiting to be taken. The great American dream is what lured my father to the United States from Guyana, South America, in 1978. My father, Indarjit Seepersaud, left many things behind in order to come to the United States, and he encountered many difficulties in America, but through it all, he managed to make a home for himself and his family in America.
My father, Indar, gave up many things in order to come to the United States. For example, my father had to leave his family business behind when he left for the United States. My father said,
My grandmother owned a small bakery. It was located in an area that was called the "Market." The "Market" consisted of small shops that only sold one thing. For example, the store that Indar's mother owned only sold baked goods. Indar further explained,
My father had to leave the bar when he came to America. It was something that Indar and his mother had worked very hard for, and he had to leave it behind. Indar said this about leaving the bar and his mother:
My father is very close to his mother, and she is like his best friend. She always managed to provide for my dad, even when she separated from her husband, and that's the reason why they were so close to one another.
My father encountered many difficulties after he settled in Minnesota. Racism was the first difficulty my father encountered. My father landed a job at a factory, working as a security guard at night. My father stated,
When I got promoted at the factory, I went to work in the casting department. The guys that were in the department were all white, and I was the only colored person in there. They didn't think I could understand English very well, but I did. I just couldn't speak English clearly. They would make jokes about me and give me a hard time. It really made me mad at first, but I couldn't do anything, so I just concentrated on my work. It was my boss in the casting department that would give me the hardest time. I thought if I said anything, they would fire me, and I really needed that job because it was good pay.
My father talks lightly about the racism he encountered, but when I talked to my mother about the racism, she gave me some insight into my dad. My mother said,
My father didn't let the men he had to work with every day bother him when he was working. He stayed in that department for four years before he received a promotion to another department.
My father saved the majority of his money. He saved enough to buy a car and enough for a down payment on a house in the suburbs. Indar said,
My father spoke lightly once again on the subject of the racism his family encountered:
My parents didn't know who was sending them all the threats, and that made them suspicious of everyone.
My father left his country where he had more than he could want and came to America with only two suitcases and his family, but he built a life for his family from scratch. My father encountered many people that tried to discourage and turn him away from his goals, but my father continued to work towards his American dream. Indar has almost paid off his mortgage, and he presently owns four cars. He's also putting his youngest son through college without any financial assistance from the government. My father has managed to accomplish a great deal considering what he started with when he first arrived in the United States. He has struggled to achieve many things.
Last update: 5 June 2000