Ottenheimer Library & Partners Awarded $1300 Grant to Present “Becoming American”

UA Little Rock’s Ottenheimer Library, along with the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), El Zocalo Immigrant Resource Center, the Social Justice Institute of Philander Smith College, and UA Little Rock’s Joel E. Anderson Institute of Race and Ethnicity, have received a $ 1,300 award to host a six-week program series funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities entitled “Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigration Experience.” This series is a six-week public program featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.  The series is free and open to the public.

UA Little Rock and partners will host the “Becoming American” series designed to engage and enlighten audiences by screening documentary films that represent a selection of diverse immigration experiences drawn from both the past and the present.

The following topics will be explored in the six-week series: “The Century of Immigration: 1820-1934” chronicles the period when 40 million immigrants entered the U.S., making immigration a major and defining aspect of American life. “Promise and Prejudice” explores the tension – historic and current – between Americans’ acceptance of immigrants, including the celebration of their own immigrant heritage, versus the periodic backlash prompted by concern about the economic and cultural effects of newcomers. “Between Two Worlds: Identity and Acculturation” looks at how immigrants react and adjust to living in a new country and culture, and how they bridge the divide between the traditions and values of their native countries. “Help Wanted? Immigration and Work” looks at the economic side of immigration, chronicling the essential part immigrant labor has played in building America, as well as the conflicted relationship American workers have had with immigrants. “Family and Community” explores how family ties and community institutions have played an essential role in successful migration and adaptation to American life. Finally, “Immigration and Popular Culture” examines the ways the media and popular culture have historically taught newcomers how to “be American,” and how the rich contributions of different immigrant groups have transformed American culture and art.

These organizations are one of thirty-two sites nationwide selected to host this program series which is a project by City Lore in collaboration with the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. “Becoming American” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

For more details, please visit the Events page.

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