Category Archives: 1950 – 1975

From the Netherlands to Palo Alto to England to Palo Alto

My mother’s life started with little memory of her hometown of Amstelveen, Netherlands. While Nienke did not remember much of her hometown and where she was born, she remembers key parts of her immigration into America at the age of two years old. One thing unique to my mom though, is she has immigrated twice to the U.S., both being ... Read More »

Koe Otua Mo Tonga Ko Hoku Tofi’a (God and Tonga are my inheritance)

My cousin arrived with news I no longer wanted to hear about. He told me my visa was approved and that I would be going to Hawaii. I told him I no longer can accept. The house I lived in was built by my Teti (dad). My teti was a sheriff and was very protective over our family. The island ... Read More »

Louisiana Family

My name is Saundra Stamps. My parents were both born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA), and I was born in San Mateo, California, but spent most summers in New Orleans. I was fortunate to grow up in a two-parent household. My father was an entrepreneur and the first African American owner of an upholstery and interior design business ... Read More »

Loyal to my Royal Soil (Tonga)

I came from nothing, running from cops handcuffing. I had to make it out so my family could stop suffering. This was the moment I knew I had to search for a better life, a better future, and I found that in America. My name is Siaosi (George) Kuli Vanisi and I grew up on an island in the south ... Read More »

Big Dream From a Little Village

Having a big dream is hard for anyone especially when you are living in a poor hopeless place and where you would have to end up leaving your family and the place you were born. Living in Haiti was hard. It was scary. It was very dangerous. Anyone can die or get robbed or get hurt by the environment in ... Read More »

The Success Through Struggles (Philippines)

“I cannot live like this anymore, we cannot live like this anymore, we have to do something about this,” I said to myself as I look at my struggling family. This marked the start of our pursuit of happiness in America. My name is Doris Perez, and I was born and raised in the Philippines. I met my husband here ... Read More »

From the South Pacific to Shoreview

I was darker than most, as were my kids, and had often gone through numerous racial encounters. I had been called ‘nigger’ or ‘bum’ by people who didn’t want to hire me or even by people on the street as I walked by with my children. I was born in Niuatoputapu, Tonga. It’s a small island and one of the ... Read More »

The Adventures of Butter Nugget (Panama)

… since we were already poor we had nothing to eat almost the entire journey. Sometimes I think, why didn’t we cook the lizard? A Panamanian family searching for a way out of poverty. Two parents, six kids, and one on the way, walking on foot to their new destiny in the U.S.A. I watch my parents argue for a ... Read More »

A Travel to the Past (Fiji)

I never wanted to leave Fiji, but my dad’s words got to me, and I knew I had to do this. There I was at the age of 45, ready to become a father for the first time. Ready to welcome my firstborn into the world, only to lose her before she was even born. All my hopes of ever ... Read More »

Poverty in Japan 1959

. My name is Jorga Toshinyo (name changed). In 1959, I am 9 years old and living in I live with my mom, dad and my sister. The area I live in is really bad because every day, we are at war with some gangs that live around us, and we can’t afford to eat. We can’t even have a good ... Read More »

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