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What makes you American?

At every point in American history, immigrants, migrants and refugees have arrived here searching for a sense of belonging. In cities, towns and in rural areas alike, they’ve asked themselves an incredibly complex and ever-changing question: “How can I fit in to America?”

On our new podcast - "How to Be American" - the Tenement Museum explores how the notion of “being American” has evolved, in leaps and bounds and glacially-slow shifts, over the course of our nation’s history. We’ll dig deep into the past to learn about the struggles, triumphs and oft-colliding cultures of immigrants to New York City’s fabled Lower East Side, and chat with preeminent historians, chefs and more to help connect the dots to the present day.

For some of us, asking how we fit in to America is part of a daily struggle to survive. For others, it’s a nearly non-existent question. But no matter whether your family has lived in America for six generations or six weeks, “How to be American” will make you reconsider what it means to be American.

Mar 12, 2020

Communities don’t always have all the facts they need to reconstruct past realities, nor do institutions sometimes have all the histories to preserve the past. We'll talk to Lauren O’Brien, a Lead Project Scholar at the Tenement Museum, about a new tour, coming to the Museum, that will help us reconstruct the...

Feb 27, 2020

Imagine that someone came to your house 150 years later: what would they find, what would those found objects say about you; about your way of life? Sometimes it’s the every-day things you leave behind that tell stories about your past. On this episode, we talk to our resident expert of Tenement Curiosities about some...

Feb 13, 2020

Baseball has always had a special place in our nation’s history. It’s a common symbol of America’s values, identity, and rural past--you might even say it’s as American as apple pie.  

But did you know that beyond the ballpark there is a grittier version of the game, played mostly in immigrant neighborhoods in...

Jan 30, 2020

How To Be American is the Tenement Museum’s podcast series. In its second season, eight new episodes will tell eight new stories that dig deeper into the tapestry of American immigration, stories of people who shaped American identity by doing everything from creating street games to traveling to outer space. Listen...

Nov 20, 2019

How To Be American has some exciting news! Host Brendan takes a stroll down memory lane for season 1 and introduces who will continue the journey moving forward...

Want to follow our new host? Find her on Twitter: @AmandaListens.