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Hopeful for the Future of America: Amber Dukeman, Maryland

As told by Amber Dukeman
Frostburg, Maryland

Story Narrative:

Amber Dukeman wears braids in her hair and a bright orange hooded sweatshirt.

This snapshot was gathered in conjunction with the Maryland Voices initiative at Maryland Humanities, specifically to supplement the "Voices and Votes: Democracy in America" traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program. This collection, made up of stories of first-time voters between the ages of 18 and 24, showcases the experiences of young people as they wrestled with the 2020 presidential election, issues around social justice, the environment, immigration, and the pandemic. 

Amber Dukeman (00:00): My name is Amber Dukeman. I am originally from the Aberdeen, Havre de Grace area. I lived in both cities most of my childhood. It's a whole mess... But I currently go to school all the way out in Allegany County at Frostburg State.

Amber Dukeman: (00:13) I want to be hopeful. I really do. I generally think I'm just a painfully optimistic person in the first place. I was like, okay, it's not going to be nearly as bad. It's I'm hopeful. It's going to be fine. We're going to do great.

Amber Dukeman: (00:28) But I feel like that just depends on people still holding those elected officials accountable. And I feel like people are going to take this win as a victory and just give up and stop and that's going to help absolutely no one. And we're going to end up repeating the cycle all over again. What we have to do is keep up the energy.

Amber Dukeman (00:46) We have to keep holding those people accountable and we have to keep at what we've been doing or else we're going to lose it all, in my opinion.

Asset ID: 2021.03.02.c
Themes: America, American dream, politics, democracy, dialogue, elected officials, accountability
Date recorded: January 26, 2021
Length of recording: 00:54 m
Related traveling exhibition: Voices and Votes: Democracy in America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Allegany Museum, in partnership with Maryland Humanities
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