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 yourfamily has lived in America for six generations or six weeks, “How to be American” will make you reconsider what it means to be American.
Hundreds of sewing machines rattle and hiss—explore the
industrial soundscape that shaped the American identities of young
factory workers in 1911 with composer Julia Wolfe.
About the Podcast
These American stories are not in your standard history book.
History tends to be reduced to key moments and celebrated names, and what’s often overlooked are the stories of the ordinary people, both past and present, who have lived through journeys of immigration and migration...the people who have shaped what it means to be and to become American.
How To Be American is a podcast by the Tenement Museum where from New York’s Lower East Side, we explore the history of immigration and migration in America. We share the stories of migrants and refugees, and everyone in-between. And we examine why so many important events in our history have unfolded around issues of immigration and national identity.
This is the past, present, and future of becoming American.