Immigration and the immigrant experience is a key element of the American experience.
Yet to get a real look at what it means to be an immigrant, it helps to look past the steerage section, the Statue of Liberty and a flood of Jacob Riis photographs.
Becoming American: The Immigrant Experience is a documentary created by the Merage Foundation for the American Dream. Part of its American Dream series, the film covers close to the entirety of the immigration experience, starting with the early European colonists of the colonial period up through the early decades of our century.
It includes the experiences and hardships of many groups who came to this country, even involuntary immigrants such as enslaved Africans and isolated populations such as Chinese contract labor on the railroads.
It’s a film geared toward high school students, but it can certainly be adapted for younger viewers.