Immigrants entering our country have always experienced discrimination
due to many different prejudices. ^How they would not rent to Negroes
or Puerto Ricans. How Negroes and Puerto Ricans were given the pink
slips first at work^ (Colon 243). Prejudice impacted various aspects
of the lives of immigrants including where they lived, their success,
and their careers.
The lives of immigrants were impacted everyday due to the prejudices
they encountered. For instance, in the story ^Blues Ain^t no
Mockingbird^, a black family was impacted by the harassment of white
men because the black family was assumed to be on welfare, therefore;
they were videotaped against their will (Bambara 119-124). Another
more extreme example that Houston illustrates would be the case of the
Japanese-Americans who were thrown into detention camps during the
war. Their loyalty for the country was questioned and they had to
leave many of their possessions behind because of their nationality and
the hatred of the enemy during the war (111-116). These immigrants
encountered prejudices by the way they looked and their race. In the
selection ^To Be a Slave^, it is said that:
It is estimated that some fifty million people were
taken from the continent during the years of the slave
trade. These fifty million were, of course, the
youngest, the strongest, those most capable of bringing
great profit, first to the slave trader, and later to
the slave owner. (Lester 84)
Lester^s illustration shows that many African people were taken because
they were black indeed. If the people who resided in Africa were
white, or the same as Americans or Europeans, there probably would not
have been much of a problem.
Success was stressed on the lives of immigrants. Immigrants
had to try harder then other people. In the story ^The Fat of
the Land^, Yezierska points out that success was extremely stressed.
Hanneh Breineh, a polish immigrant, stressed the importance of becoming
successful. She did not want her children to have it as bad as she
did. She desperately wanted them to become American. By the end of
the story, all of her children are successful and rich in some way
(33-49). ^^What did I tell you? In America, children are like money
in the bank^^(Yezierska 42). Success is also a key point in the story
^Two Kinds^ by Amy Tan. In this story, a Chinese mother and daughter
immigrate to California after losing what they had in China. The
mother believed ^you can be anything you wanted to be in America.^
Therefore, her mother tries to make the little girl a prodigy. At
first they try by beauty, then by music, they keep on trying until the
little girl gets fed up with proving to her mother that she is not a
genius(199). All in all, success was measured very highly on the lives
of immigrants. They did, however, have it harder.
Prejudice impacted the careers of immigrants. It was hard for
them to find and to carry on jobs at a good job place or for a
decent salary. For example, in the story ^Kipling and I^, a young
Puerto Rican man tried to find work everyday for a while. He would go
door to door to factories around the New York area. But, when he went,
they kept on saying ^Sorry, nothing today.^ He then says, ^It seemed
to me that ^^today^ was a continuation and combination of all the
yesterdays, todays and tomorrows^ (Colon 243). Most of the time in
history, immigrants worked in hot factories laboring very harshly, but
only for a nickel and hour. Immigrants had not only to learn a skill,
but to speak the language also. Which, all in all, makes prejudices
stand out dramatically in the workforce.
Prejudice did impact the lives of immigrants. It did impact
their success and their careers. But it also affected them
where they lived. Most immigrants lived in large crowded cities, which
Yezierska explains in ^The Fat of the Land^. ^In an air-shaft so
narrow that you could touch the next wall with your bare hands, Hanneh
Breineh leaned out and knocked on her neighbor^s window^(33).
Prejudice impacted the various aspects of the lives of
immigrants including where they lived, their success, and their
career. prejudice is not a good thing and it can either lead to the
upcoming of some people or the short coming of most. Prejudices will
always be here, immigrants will somehow overcome. ^From this time I
was never again what might be called fairly whipped, though I remained
a slave four years afterwards. I had several fights, but was never
Works Cited Page
Applebee, Arthur N.,and Judith A. Langer, eds. Multicultural Perspectives.
Evanston, Illinois: McDougal, Littell & Company,1993.
Bambara, Toni Cade. ^ÓBlues Ain^Òt no Mockingbird.^Ô Applebee and Langer
Colon, Jesus. ^ÓKipling and I^Ô. Rico and Mano 242-244.
Douglass, Frederick. ^ÓNarrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American
Slave.^Ô Applebee and Langer 22-27.
Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki, and James D. Houston. ^ÓFarewell to Manzanar.^Ô
Applebee and Langer 111-116.
Lester, Julius. ^ÓTo Be a Slave.^Ô Applebee and Langer 80-84.
Rico, Barbara Roche, and Sandra Mano, eds. American Mosaic: Multicultural
Readings in Context. 2nd ed. Boston: Houhgton Mifflin Company, 1995.
Tan, Amy. ^ÓTwo Kinds.^Ô Applebee and Langer 198-205.
Yezierska, Anzia. ^ÓThe Fat of the Land.^Ô Rico and Mano 33-39.