written in 1900+/-
They faced overwhelming prejudice, poverty and the isolation of being in a strange and unfriendly country. The majority came to the US when they were very young with high hopes for a better future for themselves and families. They found that not only were the streets not paved with gold but that they were expected to pave them.
"We soon discovered that we were here to do the dirty work that nobody else wanted to do. We came to place that considered us and treated us as less than equal. We were regarded as low class, stupid and inferior."
We still held our heads high and we were still proud of where we came from and of who we were. The mainstream of society tried to humbled us, but we refused to believe that they were better than us and refused to be treated as inferior. We learned to speak English, we found jobs, we started our own businesses. We joined unions and we even formed our own unions. We bought our own homes and we succeeded in spite of the prejudice, discrimination, and less than friendly welcome we received in the US.
In the US, immigrants mobilized to preserve their culture. In immigrant neighborhoods, immigrant shops and other businesses sprung up. Immigrants made it a habit to buy from other immigrants.
"We kept the money in the community and we prospered. I remember my father would never buy from a American if he could buy it from another immigrant."
Immigrant-American newspapers were published in major cities, immigrant-aid and fraternal societies were formed --i.e., Sons of Immigrants etc. All of this greatly helped the continuously arriving immigrants who in addition to the strong immigrant work ethic, brought dance, music and food!
Who's story is this?