The first experience of immigrants and migrants was the area of neighborhood they chose to live in. In New York, African Americans migrated primarily to Harlem, yet were scattered in different neighborhoods. This was an ideal location for African Americans, since "most people in New York were so busy they hadn't time to spend hating other people" (American Cities/New York/African American/Intergroup Relations/Color Lines). Although most of the New Yorkers
did not discriminate, there was still a portion of the population that contained Southern whites, who felt that the African Americans were taking over the white neighborhoods (American Cities/New York/African American/Intergroup Relations/Color Lines). Within these neighborhoods was where the African Americans encountered prejudice and persecution (Global View/Arrival/Northern Train Stations/letters/The Exodus During the World War). Although the African Americans moved north to escape the effects of slavery, the prejudices still followed them to New York, where being spread across the city did not help.
The Italians and the Eastern European Jews, on the other hand, immigrated to New York "as part of a larger family, kin or village networks" (American Cities/New York/Italians/ Community/social institutions/A Hodge-Podge Collection of Small Village Clusters). Once they settled into the new location of their old village, they "attempted to reproduce the pace and patterns of its homeland setting" (American Cities/New York/Italians/ Community/social institutions/A Hodge-Podge Collection of Small Village Clusters). Since the merchants, doctors, lawyers and manufacturers from the old villages traveled together to America, the Italians and Jews were provided the necessities they had in their old village, "from Italian cheese to soda-water flavored Neapolitan style" (American Cities/New York/Italians/ Interactions/ Americanization/Little Italy in War Time). Being able to reproduce the settings of the old villages and live within a community of similar backgrounds, Italians and Jews were not as harshly discriminated against as African Americans. It appeared as though smaller ethnic communities dodged a fair amount of discrimination from American citizens due to their larger numbers and sense of identity.
For a majority of the immigrants and migrants who came to America, after forming a community, the development of organizations within their community was essential. Religion
played a key role in the lives of African Americans, Jews and Italians. It was said "the immigrant who loses his religion is worse than the religionless American because his early standards are dropped along with his fate" (American Cities/New York/Eastern European Jews/ Interaction/Intergroup Relations/The...