Essay on American Immigration
Along with religion, immigrants also formed numerous other organizations and clubs within their communities. The Italians formed groups based on the sections of Italy (American Cities/New York/Italians/ Community/social institutions/Italian Organizations). African Americans alternatively, formed schools, club-houses and lodge meeting places the Y.M.C.A and the social service agencies. (American Cities/New York/African Americans/ Interactions/Becoming Ethnic Americans/The Same Pattern, Only a Different Shade) The integration of religion and organizations into the community gave the immigrants and migrants a feeling of being at home and belonging to something important while in America. The organizations allowed them to follow the American Ideals when outside of their community, and still practice and remember their culture.
In the workplace, Italians and Jews were treated quite different from African Americans. Although the Italians and Jews were seen as `the defective and delinquent classes of Europe,’ they were still higher in the American hierarchy (Hall P.305). The European Immigrants had the ability `to exclude the Negroes even from the menial positions’ (Global View/Arrival/Northern Train Stations/letters/The Exodus During the World War). While the Jews and Italians peddled, `selling shoe-strings, neckties, sausages, candy and a thousand and one other things’ the African Americans were forced into hard labor (American Cities/New York/Eastern European Jews/Neighborhood/In the Streets/The Earnestness That Wins Wealth). Due to racial discrimination, African Americans were given the ‘blind alley jobs which lead to nothing beyond the merit of long and faithful service (American Cities/New York/African Americans/Neighborhood/At Work/The Negro Worker). The African American worked day in and day out, rarely with anything to show off but `worn bodies’ (American Cities/New York/African Americans/Neighborhood/At Work/The Negro Worker). Even though African Americans were American citizens first, the European immigrants were given priority in jobs over the African Americans; prospering in the rewards of the occupations that the African Americans would not dream of occupying.
The Italians, on the other hand, were not pictured to be an Americanized group. This was because the Italians were seen as a group more violent then any of the other immigrant groups, although `the great majority of the Italian immigrants were peaceable’ (American Cities/New York/Italians/ Community/Group Life and Culture/Traits of Italian Character). It was shown that the Italians Americanized just as easily as other immigrant groups and `offered no resistance to his new environment'(American Cities/New York/Italians/ Interactions/ Americanization /Little Italy in War Time). This shows how the stereotypes of Italians during the early twentieth century affected the need for the Italians to take on the American ideals. Overall, the immigrants and migrants felt the need to assimilate to American ideals to prove that.