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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Tenant Farmer’s Daughter Remembers Leaving Mississippi

In 1917, ten-year-old Rubie Bond left Mississippi with her parents and migrated to Beloit, Wisconsin. Her father, who worked as a tenant farmer in the South, had been recruited to work at a factory in Beloit. In 1976, she was interviewed as part of [...]

Item Type: Oral History
What's In a Phrase? Finding Historical Understandings in an Immigrant Guidebook

In this activity students analyze a Chinese-English phrasebook from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Students match phrases from the textbook to specific historical understandings, write their own historical understanding, and then [...]

A Chinese Immigrant Remembers His Arrival in the United States

Huie Kin left his village in Guangdong Province and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14; in his 20s he entered a seminary and went on to become the first Chinese Christian minister in New York City. He wrote his memoirs in 1932, from which this [...]

A Black Migrant Crosses the Mason-Dixon Line

In this memoir first published in 1952, Charles Denby, an African-American migrant from Alabama, recalls his train ride North and first night in Detroit, Michigan. In 1930, out of work because of the Great Depression, Denby moved back to the South. [...]

A Bracero Enters the United States

In this oral history Alvaro Hernández describes how he entered the United States, first as an illegal worker and then as a bracero. Mr. Hernández was born in Jilemes, Chihuahua, Mexico. His father was an agricultural worker and his [...]

The United States Bars Chinese Immigrants

The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed on May 6, 1882, was the first major restriction placed on immigration in the U.S., and the only immigration law that explicitly barred a specific group from entering the country. The Exclusion Act forbade Chinese [...]

A Bracero Is Disenchanted With the United States

Despite rumors that braceros would be sent off to fight in World War II, Manuel Sandoval Espino joined the bracero program in 1943. He recalls having to go to the local politician in order to get a pass to join. Mr. Sandoval worked in Kansas as a [...]

A Bracero Protests Low Pay and Discrimination

Although he had received a rare scholarship to attend middle school, Andrés Héctor Quezada Lara dropped out to become a bracero. His work took him to many places in the United States, including South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, [...]

Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War Viewer's Guide

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the [...]

Item Type: Viewer's Guide
Five Points: New York's Irish Working Class in the 1850s Viewer's Guide

This booklet is curriculum support for the American Social History Project's 30-minute documentary Five Points: New York's Irish Working Class in the 1850s. The viewer's guide contains background information on issues raised by the documentary as [...]

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