I was born and raised on the South Side of Providence. Much like now, (and the times we are reading about), settlement patterns were oft times dictated by class status. Most of the houses in my neighborhood were two and three family homes, which were usually rented by tenants. Others were small one-family houses. I lived in the latter. There were many different languages spoken on my block, and so I grew up understanding and embracing other cultures. For lunch I ate papo secos and kale soup with my Portuguese neighbors, and for dinner, I had joloff rice and cassava leaf with my Liberian comrades two houses down. I learned that the family across the street from me, who had recently immigrated from Australia, spoke English as their native language (albeit with what I considered an indiscernible accent). And I was even taught French for a whole summer by their exchange student from Paris. It wasn't the nicest neighborhood, nor were the people always the friendliest, but we all learned to live amongst each other in harmony. As you travel a mile or so down the main road, the houses get bigger and more beautiful. The cars also get nicer, and the storefronts morph from liquor stores and bodegas, into pharmacies and high-end boutiques. Trees line the litter-free sidewalks, and people travel aimlessly on them - towed by small dogs - seemingly without a care in the world. It gets quiet at night there. All you'd hear were crickets. It was a far cry from what I was used to, a very different world. What is it like in your neighborhoods? What do the houses and businesses look like? The people? Are there fences? Do folks get along? Can you borrow sugar from your neighbor? What do the surrounding neighborhoods look like? Are there distinct sections determined by class status or racial classification? Tell me all about it. I want to know. Be sure to comment on the stories of others, but most importantly, respect the rules of our blogosphere.
America is a great big nation composed of immigrants, and each of our ancestors left their home countries for America for a myriad of reasons. As an African American, my story is obviously a bit different. My ancestors arrived to the Americas by way of "forced" immigration. For this reason, I never really knew exactly where my people came from. Until now. I recently had my DNA tested and have discovered that my ancestors mainly descended from Africa. No surprise there. Prior to submitting my DNA for analysis, as far as I knew, my mother’s family came from the Cape Verde Islands and my dad’s family came from Jamaica and the Prince Edward’s Islands. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was 72% African when my actual test results were returned. As we are studying Immigration, I would like to know your family’s unique immigration experience. Ask your parents, or another elder in your family, where your ancestors came from. Also, ask what the push and pull factors were for leaving their homelands and settling in America. Ask when they arrived to America, and what their early experiences were like. Did they work? What types of work did they do? Once you have all these questions answered, start blogging. I want to know all. Also, make sure to reply to at least one classmates post, and don’t forget the rules and etiquette of our blogosphere. Use your full first name and last initial (no pseudonyms), and don’t be mean.
When I think of all of the technology that we have available to us, and use almost every day, it reminds me of how quickly we have evolved as a species. I often times joke about my age , and speak of the old, antiquated devices that I used when I was your age. I had a Sony Walkman that played cassette tapes. Nowadays, you all have iPods or MP3 players of some sort. I had a one-way pager (and felt like I was crazy important), while most of you all now have cellphones - smartphones at that. I used snail mail… You all have email. We had a VCR in my family, and were one of the first families to have one. We used to rent our VHS tapes from Blockbuster Video. I'd bet many of you do not even know what a VHS tape is (much less a Beta Max), as most of you probably have BlueRay players and Netflix. I can remember vividly the day my dad brought home our very first VCR, our very first microwave, and our very first television that didn't have big knobs on it and actually transmitted in color. I can remember when I was excited to use our first remote control, even though it had a wire connecting it to our VCR, and only extended three feet beyond it.
That's it. Enough dating myself. While all of those inventions changed my life in major ways, I want to know what YOU all consider to be the greatest invention of the Digital Revolution. What invention do you feel is the greatest contribution to modern society and why? When was it invented? How has it changed life for Americans? How has it changed your life specifically? How has its technology spawned (or MAY potentially spawn) even newer technologies? Let me know your thoughts.