Becoming American: Promise and Prejudice
The Library continues its examination of immigration, exploring the tension between America’s historical acceptance of newcomers and periodic backlash arising from concerns about their economic and cultural impact.
The event features a screening of the documentary Welcome to Shelbyville (2009; PG) which spotlights a small Tennessee town grappling with discrimination amid changing demographics. Shelbyville's residents are challenged with how to best integrate the arrival of hundreds of Muslim refugees from Somalia who’ve been hired by the local Tyson chicken-processing plant. University of Missouri-Kansas City historian Sandra Enriquez leads a post-screening discussion.
The Becoming American series is a project of City Lore, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.