Culture: the myth of the melting pot

America’s Racial and Ethnic Divides

One Nation, Indivisible: Is It History?

Todd Bigelow/FTWP
In Los Angeles, demographers see “white flight” beyond the suburbs and into rural areas.
(By Todd Bigelow for The Washington Post)

First in a series of occasional articlesBy William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 22, 1998; Page A1

At the beginning of this century, as steamers poured into American ports, their steerages filled with European immigrants, a Jew from England named Israel Zangwill penned a play whose story line has long been forgotten, but whose central theme has not. His production was entitled “The Melting Pot” and its message still holds a tremendous power on the national imagination – the promise that all immigrants can be transformed into Americans, a new alloy forged in a crucible of democracy, freedom and civic responsibility.

Read the articles here.

5 thoughts on “Culture: the myth of the melting pot

  1. Bob, I see you found my quote (when I commented on ‘Culture – 2’).” What’s amazing is the author, William Booth, wrote this in 1998, when NOBODY was thinking about this problem. I’ve been thinking about solutions and have come up with one. The U.S. should do all it can to make sure the minorities and immigrants can get a good education, in high school and college. I believe that will ease the economic disparity between people. Education is a must! Most people cannot succeed in life without it.

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  2. Actually I think we found the Booth series about the same time independently, Tara. Check this out: A milestone is expected to be reached this fall when minorities outnumber whites among the nation’s public school students for the first time, U.S. Department of Education projections show. This is due largely to fast growth in the number of Hispanic and Asian school-age children born in the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.

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    • In 1966, my husband and I (and our twin boys) bought a home in the nice Chicago suburb of Maywood, Illinois. The high school, which took in students from several surrounding suburbs, was mostly White, with a few dozen Black students. The school was the top academic high school in Chicago’s western suburbs. Three years later, we moved to Albuquerque. On a visit in 1986, I saw that the entire town of Maywood was Black, and that the high school ranked as one of the worst in the suburbs. Chicago is an excellent example of White Flight, which began in earnest after WWII.

      http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/White-Flight-By-The-Numbers-206302551.html

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