The story of two refugee families and their hope and resilience as they fight to survive and belong in America The welcoming and acceptance of immigrants and refugees has been central to America's identity for centuries--yet America has periodically turned its back at the times of greatest humanitarian need. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the "golden ticket" to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas. Mu Naw, a Christian from Myanmar struggling to put down roots with her family, was accepted after decades in a refugee camp at a time when America was at its most open to displaced families; and Hasna, a Muslim from Syria, agrees to relocate as a last resort for the safety of her family--only to be cruelly separated from her children by a sudden ban on refugees from Muslim countries. Writer and activist Jessica Goudeau tracks the human impacts of America's ever-shifting refugee policy as both women narrowly escape from their home countries and begin the arduous but lifesaving process of resettling in Austin, Texas--a city that would show them the best and worst of what America has to offer. After the Last Border situates a dramatic, character-driven story within a larger history--the evolution of modern refugee resettlement in the United States, beginning with World War II and ending with current closed-door policies--revealing not just how America's changing attitudes toward refugees has influenced policies and laws, but also the profound effect on human lives.
It is difficult to think of two twentieth century books by one author that have had as much influence on American culture when they were published as Alex Haley's monumental bestsellers, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), and Roots (1976). They changed the way white and black America viewed each other and the country's history. This first biography of Haley follows him from his childhood in relative privilege in deeply segregated small town Tennessee to fame and fortune in high powered New York City. It was in the Navy, that Haley discovered himself as a writer, which eventually led his rise as a star journalist in the heyday of magazine personality profiles. At Playboy Magazine, Haley profiled everyone from Martin Luther King and Miles Davis to Johnny Carson and Malcolm X, leading to their collaboration on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Roots was for Haley a deeper, more personal reach. The subsequent book and miniseries ignited an ongoing craze for family history, and made Haley one of the most famous writers in the country. Roots sold half a million copies in the first two months of publication, and the original television miniseries was viewed by 130 million people. Haley died in 1992. This deeply researched and compelling book offers the perfect opportunity to revisit his authorship, his career as one of the first African American star journalists, as well as an especially dramatic time of change in American history.
Providing the most comprehensive examination to date of Asians in the Centennial State, William Wei addresses a wide range of experiences, from anti-Chinese riots in late nineteenth-century Denver to the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans at the Amache concentration camp to the more recent influx of Southeast Asian refugees and South Asian tech professionals. Drawing on a wealth of historical sources, Wei reconstructs what life was like for the early Chinese and Japanese pioneers, and he pays special attention to the different challenges faced by those in urban versus rural areas. The result is a groundbreaking approach that helps us better understand how Asians survived and thrived in an often hostile environment.
Offering a fresh perspective on how cycles of persecution are repeated, Wei reveals how the treatment of Asian Americans resonates with the experiences of other marginalized groups in American society. His study sheds light not only on the Asian American experience but also on the development of Colorado and the greater American West.
Into the maelstrom of unprecedented contemporary debates about immigrants in the United States, this perfectly timed book gives us a portrait of what the new immigrant experience in America is really like. Written as a "guide" for the newly arrived, and providing "practical information and advice," Roya Hakakian, an immigrant herself, reveals what those who settle here love about the country, what they miss about their homes, the cruelty of some Americans, and the unceasing generosity of others. She captures the texture of life in a new place in all its complexity, laying bare both its beauty and its darkness as she discusses race, sex, love, death, consumerism, and what it is like to be from a country that is in America's crosshairs. Her tenderly perceptive and surprisingly humorous account invites us to see ourselves as we appear to others, making it possible for us to rediscover our many American gifts through the perspective of the outsider.
This book is a unique and original history of Washington, DC, and the African American experience. It connects George Pointer, born into slavery in MD in 1773, to his descendants, some of whom live just outside DC. Pointer bought his freedom at nineteen and spent his life on the Potomac, working for Geo. Washington's Potomac Co., navigating boats through the treacherous falls. Using extensive archival research, Torrey & Green trace Pointer's family through DC history, showing the birth of DC and of a young US, showing how their lives unfolded within this extraordinary history. Family connections include enlistment in the Colored Regiments during the Civil War, farm life in then-rural DC, life in integrated neighborhoods that are then deliberately segregated, and more. It ends in the 1960s, just before MLK's speech in the the capital. The authors shared this story with the living family. Several descendants, in particular James Fisher, have been active after learning their history. He has already been in the media commenting on what it means to learn all of this and how it changed him. He is likely very willing to participate in promotion of the book. The authors strongly support this.
In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley, daughter of actress Lena Horne, delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights. Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family's two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives' momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history. From Atlanta during Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, and then from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement, this ambitious, brilliant family witnessed and participated in the most crucial events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining personal and national history, The Black Calhouns is a unique and vibrant portrait of six generations during dynamic times of struggle and triumph.
Family history begins with missing persons,” Alison Light writes in Common People. We wonder about those we’ve lost, and those we never knew, about the long skein that led to us, and to here, and to now. So we start exploring. What she did for the servants of Bloomsbury in her celebrated Mrs. Woolf and the Servants Light does here for her own ancestors, and, by extension, everyone’s: she draws their experiences from the shadows of the past and helps us understand their lives, estranged from us by time yet inextricably interwoven with our own. Family history, in her hands, becomes a new kind of public history.
Traditional accounts of Colorado's history often reflect an Anglocentric perspective that begins with the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush and Colorado's establishment as a state in 1876. Enduring Legacies expands the study of Colorado's past and present by adopting a borderlands perspective that emphasizes the multiplicity of peoples who have inhabited this region.
Addressing the dearth of scholarship on the varied communities within Colorado-a zone in which collisions structured by forces of race, nation, class, gender, and sexuality inevitably lead to the transformation of cultures and the emergence of new identities-this volume is the first to bring together comparative scholarship on historical and contemporary issues that span groups from Chicanas and Chicanos to African Americans to Asian Americans.
Traditional accounts of Colorado's history often reflect an Anglocentric perspective that begins with the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush and Colorado's establishment as a state in 1876. Enduring Legacies expands the study of Colorado's past and present by adopting a borderlands perspective that emphasizes the multiplicity of peoples who have inhabited this region. Addressing the dearth of scholarship on the varied communities within Colorado-a zone in which collisions structured by forces of race, nation, class, gender, and sexuality inevitably lead to the transformation of cultures and the emergence of new identities -- this volume is the first to bring together comparative scholarship on historical and contemporary issues that span groups from Chicanas and Chicanos to African Americans to Asian Americans.
What does science say about race? In this book a distinguished research geneticist presents abundant evidence showing that traditional notions about distinct racial differences have little scientific foundation. In short, racism is not just morally wrong; it has no basis in fact. The author lucidly describes in detail the factors that have led to the current scientific consensus about race. Both geneticists and anthropologists now generally agree that the human species originated in sub-Saharan Africa and darkly pigmented skin was the ancestral state of humanity. Moreover, worldwide human diversity is so complex that discrete races cannot be genetically defined. And for individuals, ancestry is more scientifically meaningful than race.Separate chapters are devoted to controversial topics: skin color and the scientific reasons for the differences; why ancestry is more important to individual health than race; intelligence and human diversity; and evolutionary perspectives on the persistence of racism.This is an enlightening book that goes a long way toward dispelling the irrational notions at the heart of racism.
A white man, the beloved nephew of the county sheriff, is shot dead on the porch of a black woman. Days later, the sheriff sanctions the lynching of a black woman and three black men; all of them innocent. For Karen Branan, the great-granddaughter of that sheriff, this isn't just history, this is family history. Branan spent nearly twenty years combing through diaries and letters, hunting for clues in libraries and archives throughout the United States, and interviewing community elders to piece together the events and motives that led a group of people to murder four of their fellow citizens in such a brutal public display. Her research revealed surprising new insights into the day-to-day reality of race relations in the Jim Crow-era South, but what she ultimately discovered was far more personal. As she dug into the past, Branan was forced to confront her own deep-rooted beliefs surrounding race and family, a process that came to a head when Branan learned a shocking truth: she is related not only to the sheriff, but also to one of the four who were murdered. Both identities--perpetrator and victim--are her inheritance to bear. A gripping story of privilege and power, anger, and atonement, The Family Tree transports readers to a small Southern town steeped in racial tension and bound by powerful family ties.
Discover the answers to your family history mysteries using the most-cutting edge tool available. This plain-English guide is a one-stop resource for how to use DNA testing for genealogy. Inside, you'll find guidance on what DNA tests are available, plus the methodologies and pros and cons of the three major testing companies and advice on choosing the right test to answer your specific genealogy questions. And once you've taken a DNA test, this guide will demystify the often-overwhelming subject and explain how to interpret DNA test results, including how to understand ethnicity estimates and haplogroup designations, navigate suggested cousin matches, and use third-party tools like GEDmatch to further analyze your data. To give you a holistic view of genetic testing for ancestry, the book also discusses the ethics and future of genetic genealogy, as well as how adoptees and others who know little about their ancestry can especially benefit from DNA testing.
From the Publisher: Finding Your Mexican Ancestors is essential to any researcher looking to trace their heritage across the Rio Grande. In it, authors George and Peggy Ryskamp show how easy Mexican American research can be providing detailed descriptions of parish records, civil records, and other types of records common in Mexico.
Accuracy is fundamental to genealogical research. Without it, a family's history would be fiction. This manual presents the standards family historians use to obtain valid results. These standards apply to all genealogical research, whether shared privately or published. They also apply to personal research and research for clients, courts, and other employers. The standards address documentation; research planning and execution, including reasoning from evidence; compiling research results; genealogical education; and ongoing development of genealogical knowledge and skills. BCG offers these standards to the field as a guide to sound genealogical research and a way to assess the research outcomes that genealogists produce. They are standards for anyone who seeks to research and portray accurately people's lives, relationships, and histories.
The Hairstons is the story of the largest family in America, the Hairston clan. With several thousand black and white members, the Hairstons share a complex history: divided in the time of slavery, they have come to embrace their past as one family. The black family's story is the account of the rise of a remarkable people--the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of slaves--who took their rightful place in mainstream America. In contrast, it has been the fate of the white family--once one of the wealthiest in America--to endure the decline and fall of the Old South, and to become an apparent metaphor for that demise. Journalist Wiencek weaves the Hairstons' stories from all sides of historical events likeslave emancipation, Reconstruction, school segregation, and lynching.
Born in 1861 in New Mexico's Acoma Pueblo, Edward Proctor Hunt lived a tribal life almost unchanged for centuries. But after attending government schools he broke with his people's ancient codes to become a shopkeeper and controversial broker between Indian and white worlds. As a Wild West Show Indian he traveled in Europe with his family, and saw his sons become silversmiths, painters, and consultants on Indian Lore. In 1928, in a life-culminating experience, he recited his version of the origin myth of Acoma Pueblo to Smithsonian Institution scholars. Nabokov narrates the fascinating story of Hunt's life within a multicultural and historical context. Chronicling Pueblo Indian life and Anglo/Indian relations over the last century and a half, he explores how this entrepreneurial family capitalized on the nation's passion for Indian culture. In this rich book, Nabokov dramatizes how the Hunts, like immigrants throughout history, faced anguishing decisions over staying put or striking out for economic independence, and experienced the pivotal passage from tradition to modernity.
Inheritance is a book about secrets--secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in--a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.
A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database." That's enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs's three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history. Jacobs's journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a US president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.
Nearly everyone in America came from somewhere else. This is a fundamental part of the American idea--an identity and place open to everyone. People arrive from all points distant, speaking a thousand languages, carrying every culture, each with their own reason for uprooting themselves to try something new. Everyone has their own unique story. Little America is a collection of those stories, told by the people who lived them. Together, they form a wholly original, at times unexpected portrait of America's immigrants, and thereby a portrait of America itself.
A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives You swab your cheek or spit into a vial, then send it away to a lab somewhere. Weeks later you get a report that might tell you where your ancestors came from or if you carry certain genetic risks. Or the report could reveal a long-buried family secret and upend your entire sense of identity. Soon a lark becomes an obsession, an incessant desire to find answers to questions at the core of your being, like 'Who am I?' and 'Where did I come from?' Welcome to the age of home genetic testing. In The Lost Family, journalist Libby Copeland investigates what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment with little understanding of the ramifications. Copeland explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless methodical drive for answers that becomes a thoroughly modern genetic detective story. The Lost Family delves into the many lives that have been irrevocably changed by home DNA tests—a technology that represents the end of family secrets. There are the adoptees who’ve used the tests to find their birth parents; donor-conceived adults who suddenly discover they have more than fifty siblings; hundreds of thousands of Americans who discover their fathers aren’t biologically related to them, a phenomenon so common it is known as a “non-paternity event”; and individuals who are left to grapple with their conceptions of race and ethnicity when their true ancestral histories are discovered. Throughout these accounts, Copeland explores the impulse toward genetic essentialism and raises the question of how much our genes should get to tell us about who we are. With more than thirty million people having undergone home DNA testing, the answer to that question is more important than ever.
From rediscovering an ancestral village in China to experiencing the realities of American life as a Nigerian, the search for belonging crosses borders and generations. Selected from the archives of Catapult magazine, the essays in A Map Is Only One Story highlight the human side of immigration policies and polarized rhetoric, as twenty writers share provocative personal stories of existing between languages and cultures. Victoria Blanco relates how those with family in both El Paso and Ciudad Jùrez experience life on the border. Nina Li Coomes recalls the heroines of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and what they taught her about her bicultural identity. Nur Nasreen Ibrahim details her grandfathers crossing of the India-Pakistan border sixty years after Partition. Krystal A. Sital writes of how undocumented status in the United States can impact love and relationships. Porochista Khakpour describes the challenges in writing (and rewriting) Iranian America. Through the power of personal narratives, as told by both emerging and established writers, A Map Is Only One Story offers a new definition of home in the twenty-first century.
Raised in a family he bore little resemblance to, Randy was jokingly referred to as "the milkman's son." This warm and candid memoir chronicles the unraveling of a family secret, which begins with Randy's dad having dreams about deceased relatives urging him to complete their family tree. Randy agrees to help with the genealogy, but after his searching leads to a dead end, he takes a commercially available DNA test. The results reveal a possible genetic match to a sister, which begins a familial quest that forever changes the author's life.
Growing up in the Afro-Latino province of ChocÃ³, Colombia, the Emmy Award-winning CalderÃ³n never felt the slings and arrows of racism until she moved to MedellÃn to attend high school and college. She chose to shut out the slurs, but when she moved to Miami to work for Telemundo, she encountered another kind of prejudice as an immigrant woman of color addressing the Latinx community in Spanish. Here she offers both memoir and inspiration, explaining how her readers can be brave and embrace their identity, something she learned well while countering face-to-face threats from a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
A sweeping history of the legislative battle to reform American immigration laws that set the stage for the immigration debates roiling America today. The idea of the United States as a nation of immigrants is today so pervasive, and seems so foundational, that it can be hard to believe Americans ever thought otherwise. But a 1924 law passed by Congress instituted a system of ethnic quotas so stringent that it choked off large-scale immigration for decades, sharply curtailing immigration from southern and eastern Europe and outright banning people from nearly all of Asia. In a compelling narrative with a fascinating cast of characters, Jia Lynn Yang recounts how a small number of lawmakers, activists, and presidents worked relentlessly for the next forty years to abolish the 1924 law and its quotas. Their efforts established the new mythology of the United States as "a nation of immigrants" that is so familiar to all of us now. Through a world war, a global refugee crisis, and a McCarthyist fever that swept the country, these Americans never stopped trying to restore the United States to a country that lived up to its vision as a home for "the huddled masses" from Emma Lazarus's famous poem. When the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, one of the most transformative laws in the country's history, ended the country's system of racial preferences among immigrants, it opened the door to Asian, Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern migration at levels never seen before-paving the way for America's modern immigration trends in ways those who debated it could hardly have imagined.
The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know - or think we know - about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers - and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive.
A Pushcart Prize-nominated writer and descendant of an enslaved cook describes the rich oral traditions that documented her shared ancestry with President James Madison and the human realities of rape and incest throughout the slave era.
This book examines territorial legislation and jurisprudence in the Colorado Territory and its impact on the life of Hispano settlers in the area. The book intertwines elements of ethnic history, politics, cultural conflict, and institutional racism during the establishment of the Territory of Colorado. There is special focus on the roles of Hispano assemblymen in southern Colorado as they tried to help their 7,000 Hispano constituents in the Territory of Colorado. The book contains a foreword by Ken Salazar, former US Secretary of the Interior and Colorado attorney general, along with black & white historical photos, maps, letters, and documents. About 60 pages of appendices list Hispano territorial assemblymen, as well as territorial governors and delegates, and offer a glossary of Spanish terms.
Fearful of violating Indiana's anti-miscegenation laws in the 1940s, E. Dolores Johnson's black father and white mother fled Indianapolis to secretly marry. Johnson searched her father's black genealogy and then was amazed to suddenly realize that her mother's whole white side was missing in family history. Johnson went searching for the white family who did not know she existed. When she found them, it's not just their shock and her mother's shame that have to be overcome, but her own fraught experiences with whites.
In this shrewd memoir, Erickson (Holy Rover) details how researching her Norwegian American heritage led to deep personal reflection. The modern ability to investigate one's ancestry using DNA, she argues, can be about more than just biology: "We're searching for roots and a story that can tie together the disparate parts of our lives and help us form our identities." With a light hand, Erickson invites readers to follow her lead and take some liberties in the search for one's "spiritual DNA." She shares stories of visiting excavation sites, museums, and even a Viking reenactment in a quest to reclaim her spiritual heritage. Alongside anecdotes of Erickson finding her roots both in her Iowa hometown (founded by Norwegian immigrants) and by tracing her heritage back to Europe, she includes brief histories of the Vikings, with special attention paid to the explorers Leif Eriksson (an early if loose convert to Christianity) and his admirable sister-in-law Gudrid the Far Traveler (the author's "adopted foremother"). While Erickson's approach is heartfelt, her contention that "in the modern world... we're no longer tied to our ancestral identities" will strike some as rather curious. Readers may find themselves ordering their own DNA testing kit upon finishing this. (PW)
Bill Griffeth, longtime genealogy buff, takes a DNA test that has an unexpected outcome: "If the results were correct, it meant that the family tree I had spent years documenting was not my own." Bill undertakes a quest to solve the mystery of his origins, which shakes his sense of identity. As he takes us on his journey, we learn about choices made by his ancestors, parents, and others—and we see Bill measure and weigh his own difficult choices as he confronts the past.
The author of "The Rose of Martinique" presents a history of the interdependence of sugar, slavery and colonial settlement in the New World through the story of the author's ancestors, exploring the myriad connections between sugar cultivation and her family's identity, genealogy and financial stability.
Jerry Apps, renowned author and storyteller, believes that storytelling is the key to maintaining our humanity, fostering connection, and preserving our common history. In Telling Your Story, he offers tips for people who are interested in telling their own stories. Readers will learn how to choose stories from their memories, how to journal, and find tips for writing and oral storytelling as well as Jerry's seasoned tips on speaking to a live radio or TV audience. Telling Your Story reveals how Jerry weaves together his stories and teaches how to transform experiences into cherished tales. Along the way, readers will learn about the value of storytelling and how this skill ties generations together, preserves local history, and much more.
Everyone has a mother and a line of female ancestors and often their paths through life are hard to trace. That is why this detailed, accessible handbook is of such value, for it explores the lives of female ancestors from the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 to the beginning of the First World War.In 1815 a woman was the chattel of her husband; by 1914, when the menfolk were embarking on one of the most disastrous wars ever known, the women at home were taking on jobs and responsibilities never before imagined. Adèle Emm’s work is the ideal introduction to the role of women during this period of dramatic social change.Chapters cover the quintessential experiences of birth, marriage and death, a woman’s working and daily life both middle and working class, through to crime and punishment, the acquisition of an education and the fight for equality. Each chapter gives advice on where further resources, archives, wills, newspapers and websites can be found, with plentiful common sense advice on how to use them.
Everyone has a story to tell. Learn how to write your memoir and get published with the help of two well-known publishing professionals. Your Life is a Book guides budding writers though the transformative process of memoir writing to publication. In addition to exploring the unique elements of crafting a memoir--story arc, point of view, dialogue, where to start (not the beginning!) -Your Life is a Book also focuses on the self-exploration, awareness, and understanding that this emotional literary project triggers. With proven writing exercises and prompts, this book is a practical and enlightening guide to perfecting the art of memoir writing.