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Blog Posts by Subject: Immigration and Emigration

I Pledge Allegiance... Becoming a Citizen at The New York Public Library

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Color GuardHave you heard those words—the Pledge of Allegiance—recited recently, by a group of adults?

I hadn't, until I attended a naturalization ceremony at the Library. This past September 17, one of 180 special naturalization ceremonies held across the country to commemorate

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Classroom Connections: 'New York, Then & Now' Immigration to Washington Heights/Inwood (Gr. 6-8)

The story of immigration to America is a rich tapestry whose opposing threads, oddly for how much they reject each other's reality, hang together as one. It outrages us and gives us hope in frighteningly equal measure.

Nowhere is this truer than New York City, a city of extremes in every sense. The community known as Washington Heights/Inwood originally spanned from 135th Street north to the top end of Manhattan Island, surrounded by the Hudson River on the west and the East River with Spuyten Duyvil's deadly currents in between. Its land is the highest ground in 

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Classroom Connections: 'Grace Aguilar's American Journey,' A Common Core-aligned Research Experience (Gr. 11-12)

By 1900, New York City and the United States were undergoing waves of dramatic, traumatic change. Industrialization, Reconstruction and a surge of immigrants from across the globe were remaking every aspect of life, from transportation to education, leisure, labor, race relations and the status of women. One response to the dislocations and turmoil of this era was the reform efforts that we now classify as the “Progressive Movement.”

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When They Trod the Boards: Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad-Ass on Broadway

Being an actor doesn't shield you from having a conscience.

—Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito, as Gus Fring, stares down a sniper in the TV series Breaking Bad, 2011.Giancarlo, as Julio, sings in the Broadway musical Seesaw, 1973.A true NYC moment: Giancarlo and brother Vincent take a sidewalk hotdog break during the musical The Me Nobody Knows, 1971. Photo: NewsdayI don't know how the final season of the TV series Breaking Bad will end, but it is pretty clear that Walter White is on a one-way trip to hell. As the well-intentioned chemistry teacher turned 

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Blueprint for Your Business Future: Workshops for Immigrant Enterprises at The New York Public Library

Can your business continue without you?

Learn to create an exit strategy that maximizes the value of your business.

The New York Public Library offers a three-part series of FREE workshops to help you plan for the future of your business and of your family, too.

The three sessions will be led by business consultant Shirley Leung, Principal, NYC2020, LLC.

Session 1. Transition Planning – Why Plan Now?

Tuesday, July 30 6-9 p.m.

Anticipate unexpected circumstances Find the best strategy for you Avoid costly expenses ... Read More ›

Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and One That Was)

Between 1892 and 1954, over twelve million people entered the United States through the immigration inspection station at Ellis Island, a small island located in the upper bay off the New Jersey coast. There is a myth that persists in the field of genealogy, or more accurately, in family lore, that family names were changed there. They were not. Numerous blogs, essays, and books have proven this. Yet the myth persists; a story in a recent issue of The New Yorker suggests that it happened. This post will explore how and why names were not changed. It will then tell the story of Frank 

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Booktalking "Side by Side/Lado a lado" by Monica Brown

Dolores came from a privileged family, and she grew up to be a teacher. Cesar's family were migrant laborers and they worked under harsh conditions. One day, the two met, and they agreed to work together for better living and working conditions for farm employees. They organized 

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Catching the 7 Line: The International Express to NYPL!

7 Train by Scott Beale on FlickrApril is Immigrant Heritage Month. In New York City, April 17th to 24th is Immigrant Heritage Week. In honor of both celebrations of Immigrant Heritage, this blog will focus on the multiculturalism of the 7 train.

If you live in Queens, New York, and you work in midtown like me, there might be a possibility that you often take the MTA train to work, particularly the

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A Well-Founded Fear: Memoirs of Refugees, in Recognition of World Refugee Day, June 20

"It is not my deeds that I write down, it is myself, my essence." Michel de Montaigne, Essays

They say that the Information Age has passed; we are now in the Age of the Story. The story of one's life can not only captivate, but also educate. These stories of refugees explain bits of the world for the rest of us as seen through the eyes of those who were there — wherever there was — and had to leave because of "...a well-founded 

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World Refugee Day 2012

1951 Refugee ConventionIn 1951 the U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugeesdefined who is a refugee, their rights, and the legal obligations of governments. On the 50th anniversary of that historic convention, the U.N. General Assembly designated June 20th as World Refugee Day and it has been celebrated as such each year since 2001.

In his 2011 World Refugee Day message, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated: "No one wants to become a 

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Immigrant City

Since 2004 around April 17 the city celebrates Immigrant Heritage Week, an event in which the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and its partners host various events that celebrate our rich immigrant culture. Why is it celebrated around April 17? On that date in 1907, 11,747 individuals entered the country through Ellis Island, the highest number in New York City’s history.

As an immigrant myself I found 

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From Masailand to Tompkins Square Library: A Journey in Literacy

Last year, Victoria joined a basic reading and writing class at Tompkins Square Library's Center for Reading and Writing. She agreed to speak with me about her experience so far and what brought her here.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Kenya, in the Masailand, in a village with 10 huts.

What other languages do you speak besides English?

I speak the Masai language and Swahili, and other tribal languages: Kikuyu, Luo, and Kamba. I came to America in 1986. I speak English every day, but 

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December’s Readers Den: "97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement" Wrap Up

I would like to thank all the followers and fans of the Reader’s Den. I hope you have enjoyed 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement just as much as I have. If you are interested in learning more about the people and cultures of the Lower East Side, 

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My Library, English Conversation Edition: Meet Jonathan!

"I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything about," quips Lord Goring in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. At Mid-Manhattan Library's English Conversation Hour for intermediate, advanced, and native English 

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December Reader's Den "97 Orchard" Discussion Questions

Welcome back to week three of December’s Reader’s Den. As I was reading 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement certain questions came to mind. While these may get you started they are by no means the only ones:

Are you surprised at how well the immigrants of the book ate and the wide variety of food available to them?  ... Read More ›

December Reader's Den: Reviews of "97 Orchard"

Welcome back to the second week of December’s Reader’s Den. For many Americans, New Yorkers included, the first images of the Lower East Side are that of the Late Nineteenth to Early Twentieth Century. Many of these images of poverty, clotheslines, and pushcarts come from movies, television, literature, or family histories. In her book

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My Library, English Conversation Edition: Meet Licia!

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Gabon, Haiti, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Khazakhstan, Korea, Martinique, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen... What do all of these countries have in common? The English Conversation Hour at the

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New York Foundation Records: Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Physicians

In 1933 — the same year he was first contacted by Franz Boas about funding for scientific studies to subvert anti-Semitic claims spreading through Europe and America — banker and New York Foundation Trustee Felix Warburg also began receiving letters requesting his assistance from the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Physicians and Medical Scientists. At that time, the German National Socialist party had 

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The Book of Khalid Turns 100!

Deep inside the NYPL’s Bryant Park Stack Extension (known as BPSE to insiders — pronounced as “Bip-See”) lay many literary treasures and secrets; some are academically obscure and rare while others are widely known and read. The Book of Khalid by Ameen Rihani fits in 

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