From Melting Pot to Salad Bowl to Segmented Plate

From Melting Pot to Salad Bowl to Segmented Plate

Independent Sentinel by Temerity Forthright

French immigrant J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur wrote in 1782 that in America, “Individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world.”

American author Ralph Waldo Emerson subsequently wrote in 1876, “The fusing process goes on as in a blast-furnace; one generation, a single year even – transforms the English, the German, the Irish immigrant into an American.”

A character in Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play “The Melting-Pot” declared, “Understand that America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming!”

Then, in the 1960s, people started to embrace their ethnic identities at the expense of assimilating in the Melting Pot, and became like separate ingredients in a Salad Bowl. Ethnic enclaves began to form within cities, complete with shops offering food, clothing, and religious items to meet the needs of the inhabitants.

The ubiquitous Little Italy and Chinatown originally formed in large cities in part for security and also as a means to avoid blatant discrimination. But as more immigrants entered the U.S. during the second half of the 20th Century, they sought out these enclaves as a means to preserve the culture, heritage, religion, and language of their countries of origin[…]

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