AMERCIAN DREAM: Prism Supply’s 1952 Harley-Davidson ‘Bronco Bronze’.
Nearly everyone has their own definition of the ‘American Dream’, but the original meaning was not a dream about individual wealth; it was a dream of equality, justice and democracy for the nation. The unfortunate reality was, however, that there was a time in the 1950s when there were barriers in place for people of color to do many things, such as buy their dream motorcycle – even when they had the means to do it. These were unprecedented times in America’s history. United States soldiers were fighting against communism in the Korean War while, on their own soil, racial tensions were heightened; one of history’s most well-known Supreme Court cases, Brown v. Board of Education, centering around racial segregation in schools, was taking off. The case became a cornerstone of the civil rights movement during a period where the country’s values were in question.
At the same time, it was also a pivotal time for the economy, as the country was recovering from the Great Depression and World War II. The more materialist ‘American Dream’ was starting to feel like a reality. The manufacturing industry was booming and providing many with well-paying jobs – people had more money than ever before, and they wanted to spend it. Cars, motorcycles, homes and consumer goods were being bought like they were going out of style.