California and Changes — The North Star Reports – by Joshua Chanin. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal
I recently traveled to California as part of my college’s choir trip, and viewed the wonders of the so-called “Golden State.” I went to the lavish cities of Santa Barbara and Los Angles, but my eyes were set upon the city of San Francisco. Not only was I fascinated by the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, or the high hills and trams, but I became more interested in the different kinds of people I saw in this great city. As a history scholar, I know that California has been home to many Asian-Americans since the late nineteenth century, as the indigenous peoples hired this particular group at cheap prices to help build the transcontinental railroads. But I was partially unaware at the extent of growth the Mexican-American community has had in recent years. These immigrants have settled themselves down and found home in California, enriching the state with their Hispanic culture and traditions. Like most of the Southern states in the United States, California is now home to thousands of Mexicans, wanting to start a better life, contributing to the national growing economy, and bringing in all signs of cultural flourish. According to the Public Policy Institute of California in May 2013, the state has more immigrants than any other state (and most of these recorded were from Mexico). The state has thrived with this immigration boast, as displayed in the new California culture; in the streets of San Francisco (which were predominantly Anglo-American thirty years prior) I saw numerous Latino street vendors and carts; the bay had several restaurants serving Hispanic foods and providing Mexican entertainments; and the faces of the people of Latin America were scattered in to the many other faces of San Francisco. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip, not just in the views and wonders of this great state, but also seeing how California is gradually changing and developing its own culture over time. The state has reached out and accepted the Latin American communities, adding to the increasing diversity which will definitely be redefined in the future.
Joshua Chanin is a senior at Austin College in Sherman, TX. He is studying history, and specializes in early American, modern Latin America, and film histories.
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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal’s online learning community and outreach program with undergraduate and K-12 classes around the world. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, Colombia, Norway, northeastern China, Nicaragua, Micronesia, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, El Salvador, England, Finland, Russia, Cyprus, and Haiti. We also publish student reviews of books, documentaries, and films, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers. We thank The Department of History and Politics and the School of Arts and Letters of The College of St. Scholastica for their generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.
Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.
(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu