American Ethnicity and Pluralism
A Different Mirror: The Making of Multicultural America
Chapter Summaries 12-Author's Note
Chapter Summaries 12-Author's Note
America seemed ever promising to foreigners in other parts of the country in the early 1900's. America was called the promise land and many migrated to give themselves and their families new hope, a new life, and better opportunities. When the immigrants landed in America, many were excited and ready for their new opportunities to start flooding in. They soon found that their opportunities were less than they expected due to prejudice and many now lived in extreme poverty. After strikes and hardships, years later, the immigrants sought and were granted rights and better working conditions. Though throughout this time, war and hardship was at its peak. The amount of time taken to accomplish such rights lasted many years and was a constant struggle to the end.
Mexico borders the United States, and many Mexicans wanted to migrate over the border into the U.S. for a better chance in life. Most Mexicans did not bother to report immigration to the authorities. They would simply just migrate across the Rio Grande and into the U.S. In the eyes of Mexicans in Mexico the U.S. was the land of opportunities. Many Mexicans fled Mexico to escape poverty and starvation. They were essentially pushed from their own land because of expropriating small farms which uprooted rural families. The Mexicans in this state were vulnerable to exploitation. In the U.S. there was work for whom ever wanted it. Wages were two to three times higher than in Mexico. The building of the railroad started a mass migration to the U.S. Immigrants primarily were laborers in agriculture and the migrants were predominantly young. Mexican farm labor provided the making of the cotton fields in the U.S. Mexicans typically were accompanied by their entire families. The farm work was seasonal and migratory. Mexican laborers followed the crops. With this many lived in their cars. In 1933 Mexicans in the U.S. went on strike. 12,000 laborers in San Joaquin Valley resisted wage reduction. Mexican strikers refused to be intimidated. Women were more active throughout this. They were fighting for equality and justice.
In 1920 to 1964 thousands of migrants entered the U.S. Most of the migrants were Sikh from India. They too were farm laborers. They followed the harvesting of different crops from Fresno to Stockton, California. They constituted a community without women. Anti-miscegenation laws had prohibited Punjabi men from marrying white women , so they married Mexican women. In Central California 76% of Sikhs had Mexican wives and most of them had met while working in the fields. The Alien Land Act in 1913, prohibited landownership to aliens that could not get citizenship. Mexicans retreated to barrios on the other side of the tracks were Anglos lived. They were trained to become obedient workers which then they trained their children to do the same. Mexicans displayed both American and Mexican flags with pride. Many Mexicans wanted to move back to Mexico but the opportunities and protection was satisfactory.
In the 20th century, Southern blacks were migrating North by the tens of thousands. Along with them were the Irish and the Jewish peoples. In 1910 to 1920 the black population from Detroit went from 5,700 to 40,800. Many Africans moved to the North because the South was too segregated. They were facing labor shortages in the South. Blacks that migrated to the North belonged to the Post Civil War generation. In the South they were restless and dissatisfied. The Labor Department in 1916 explained that the black generation was different. Young blacks wanted to make changes. They spoke loudly with their feet; they refused to be victimized, they demanded their dignity, and they were able to imagine the possibilities in the North. In 1930 two million blacks had migrated to cities in the North and changed...
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