The Story of US Immigration – Memoirs for Adults

Welcoming Week (September 12-20,2020) is a time for us to “affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.” Find related JMRL programs here. Check out this selection of  memoirs to learn more about the story of immigration in the United States. All descriptions from the catalog.

 Muslim Girl, A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
Describes the author’s adolescence as a Muslim girl in post-9/11 America, including how she dealt with Islamophobia, how she created a website that became a cultural phenomenon, and how she feels about America’s political climate.

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided  and  En el País que Amamos : Mi Familia Dividida by Diane Guerrero
The author and actress discusses her life in America as an undocumented immigrant, specifically the day when she was fourteen-years-old and her parents were detained and deported while she was at school.

 Barefoot Heart by Elva Treviño Hart
Barefoot Heart is a vividly told autobiographical account of the life of a child growing up in a family of migrant farm workers. It brings to life the day-to-day existence of people facing the obstacles of working in the fields and raising a family in an environment that is frequently hostile to those who have little education and speak another language. 

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
With beauty, grace, and honesty, Castillo recounts his and his family’s encounters with a system that treats them as criminals for seeking safe, ordinary lives. He writes of the Sunday afternoon when he opened the door to an ICE officer who had one hand on his holster, of the hours he spent making a fake social security card so that he could work to support his family, of his fathers deportation and the decade that he spent waiting to return to his wife and children only to be denied reentry.

 How to Be a Muslim by Haroon Moghul
A young Muslim leader shares his quest to forge a unique American Muslim identity that reflected his beliefs and personality in a post-9/11 world where he, in a society that fears Muslims, struggled with his faith and searching for intellectual forebears, as well as suffered with the onset of bipolar disorder. 

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