Immigrant Heritages Make America Stronger
Even though we were raised in the United States, our childhoods were very different. I did not speak English until I went to pre-school at the age of 3. I live in a large Polish diaspora community that has been historically Polish since the late 1890’s. This is a community where everyone knows each other and where business can be conducted solely in Polish. I had to go to Polish language school on Saturday mornings when my English school friends got to watch cartoons. Every Friday night I would argue with my mother that no other kids my age had to go to school on Saturdays. Her response was that one day I would thank her. I did in fact thank her when I reached my twenties and understood the amazing gift of my culture that my parents had given me. I would not change anything about my childhood. In fact, I learned many life lessons growing up in such a community.
Wisniewski, Lisa, "Immigrant Heritages Make America Stronger" (2016). Faculty Publications. Paper 30.