Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America.
“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire
Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.
Growing up in New York, with immigrant grandparents, the Statue of Liberty meant something. “Tell us the story of when your parents saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time again” we asked. My mother would say that to her parents and many like them, the statue meant freedom to live in a country where you could be whatever you wanted to be. America was the place to go to flee from oppression, racism, class-ism and poverty. We understood that it was something special to be born in a country with ideals like that.
America is not perfect. We have racism and poverty. But that doesn’t destroy the dreams it was built on. Millions of people came to America to build a better life for themselves and for their families and still do to this day.
On the Statue of Liberty, there are words I know so well: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” That’s the spirit that made me feel like an American. I wouldn’t be here without that philosophy.