the paper is an opportunity to explore the shifting social contexts in which people craft their lives within the United States.
To complete the assignment:
Select an immigrant group which has a documented history in the United States. Choosing a group documented in Part Two of our text will make this assignment easier for you but you do not need to limit yourself. Create a fictional character who is a member of your selected immigrant group and take on this personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s voice to write a five page letter to a close friend or relative, which illustrates the very real conditions faced by the group that you have chosen. Address the letter to someone who is emotionally close to your character, but separated by time or geography, or both.
These were a few examples given to us by the professor:
A letter from an Irish great-grandparent to a great-grandchild, as a narrative gift of family history on the great grandchildÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wedding day (You might tell of life as a young female Irish immigrant working in mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, or the garment district of New York, or as a young male working on the railroads in the United States).
A letter from an older African American person, who was enslaved as a child, to a grandchild who is in Mississippi in the 1960Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s working for the rights of African-Americans to vote in a participatory democracy,
A letter from a Chinese man to his wife, who is waiting for his return in China
A letter from a young Mexican woman writing to her future children, explaining how they once owned thousands of acres of land, but with the Spanish American war lost, the once prosperous family became poor, they became strangers in a strange land.
Describe with detail, as if you experienced this first-hand, the conditions of your life both in the country of origin and in the United States. Detail the social conditions which shape the terrain in which your character crafts her/his life. Be creative in your fictional descriptions, but accurate with your historical and social facts. Describe the social, political and economic conditions of your life circumstances. Include both the conditions which push your protagonist from her/his home, and the conditions which pull her/him to the United States.
Cite Takaki’s Different Mirror or other research sources from Takaki as evidence.