Professor name here
Course name and period
2 April 2016
Journal Entry One
Everything is new here. We left the boat not one week in the past, and I have yet to adjust to all of the changes. It was a rather long journey from Rome to this new country. We docked near something known as the Statue of Liberty, which seems a symbol of hope and peace to me. Our parents stayed behind, leaving just me and my younger sister to care for one another. We chose New York because it is rumored that there are more jobs here, and that we can still enjoy our native tongue and customs.
We have already been asked by many to join a certain political group. One man offered us a job if we promised to be loyal to the Democrat cause (Synonym, 2016). Many call him a political boss, though I am not convinced of the accuracy of the term. They also call him Plunkitt, but I will refer to him henceforth as the stranger. Still, the job will allow us to improve our English and learn more of the culture we now belong to, so we agreed, and now work for something known as Tammany Hall (Synonym, 2016). Now we have a job, though the pay is little and the hours are many. There is some talk of a strike soon, and we have discussed between ourselves our plans to join. We have many plans to continue our personal activism, and a strike is the best way to achieve this (Loc, 2016).
Many here are friendly and caring, but many are not. Some citizens look down upon us and scold us for not speaking their language as well as they are able to. They mock us for not knowing their history well enough, for not speaking their language, for disagreeing with their religion. They snarl that we have stolen their jobs and assure us that we deserve to be paid less than them, as we have been rumored to be (Stanford, 2016). They do not treat us as equals, but rather, as unwelcome visitors. They tell us that we must assimilate, or else never truly belong. If only they could realize that is not so easy as they make it out to be.
Despite all of this, we have managed to find some activities to enjoy. We hate our job and the conditions, and the padroni who controls us is truly evil. But we have found new solace in our religion and attending various church activities. The white citizens gain the luxury of expensive movies and education, while we must rely upon our own devices. We love to read, sing, and learn, and there are some rumors of a larger criminal organization gaining power (Stanford, 2016). I think I am going to like it here.
Journal Entry Two
It has been a while since we last spoke. I am writing now from my new shared room in the United States of America. We chose California as our docking place. Everyone seems to find themselves in New York, but I did not have the patience for the extra journey. It is rumored that California is much less crowded and far more accommodating, though of the people I have encountered, I am not convinced of the truth of this claim. The only American to truly be kind to me, so far, was the bellhop who carried my only suitcase into my tiny room.
I have moved here as a paper son. I am not truly related to my father, but on paper, I chose to be so that I could leave my wretched life in China (Calisphere, 2016). I am quite relieved that our government back home passed the Chinese Migration Act so that we could leave without risking sneaking out of the country and finding ourselves being executed after being caught. We are here because of the American dream, which everyone says means everyone has an equal chance for success. America is the perfect place for someone like me, with no future in my own country.
I have thought of the American dream in the same way as many of my friends from China. We all believe that the American Dream can be granted to us if we find the proper opportunities, a proper job, and a good house (Synonym, 2016). Living in a tiny room with two other people may not seem like a good house, but is a roof over my head and will allow me to save more money than I ever could back home.
The American dream is also why we chose California and not New York. Many say that New York has more people than land, and in such conditions, the overpopulation will prevent those immigrants from ever achieving their dreams. Here in California, I will have many more chances to become a true American. I read a story recently from a man known as Fitzgerald. He is a genius, and so perfectly expressed all of our hopes and dreams. He described the perfect definition of this so called American Dream (GaleGroup, 2016). I owe him much for helping me rethink my life.
Unfortunately, many look down on us. The American Dream is thought to only apply to true Americans, those born here. They criticize us for our lack of language skills and for stealing their jobs and tell us that we have no right to the American Dream when we are not American. We want opportunity—they want money. This anti-immigration sentiment seems to be everywhere, and it does not matter where we have come from. My friend from Paris has encountered the same issues, and they have tried actively blocking us from achieving our dreams. They think we are dirty and commit more crimes. But I will achieve my dream. This is America, and anything is possible here.
The American Mafia in the Early 20th Century. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from https://www.americanhistoryusa.com/mafia-early-20th-century/
Asian Americans: Early 20th Century. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/calcultures/ethnic_groups/subtopic2b.ht
European immigrants to America in early 20th century assimilated successfully, Stanford economist says. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/august/immigration-myth-debunked-080714.html
Immigration in the Early 1900s. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/snpim1.htm
Italian – A Century in the Spotlight – Immigration…- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources – Library of Congress. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2016, from http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/
Urban Immigrant Politics of the Early 1900s | The Classroom | Synonym. (n.d.). Retrieved April
02, 2016, from http://classroom.synonym.com/urban-immigrant-politics-early-1900s-