America traditionally represents the greatest possibility of someone's going from nothing to something. Why? In theory, if not practice, the government stays out of the way and lets individuals take risks and reap rewards or accept the consequences of failure. We call this capitalism - or, at least, we used to.
I was taught you don't tell your secrets to strangers - certainly not secrets that expose error, weakness, failure. My generation, like its predecessors, was taught that since our achievements received little notice or credit from white America, we were not to discuss our faults, lapses, or uncertainties in public.