AWM Story of the Week

Every week, the AWM is excited to bring you stories written by our visitors in our Story of the Day exhibit, which features typewriters that visitors can interact with directly, or our newest temporary exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today. Check back weekly for new stories, and visit the Museum to try out our typewriters, see the exhibit, and possibly be featured here!

Part of our newest temporary exhibit features an interactive station that allows visitors to write their family’s story on a luggage tag and stamp it with the reason their family came to the United States, whether it was Family, Refuge, by Force, for Freedom or Opportunity, or a different reason. Below are four stories shared in the exhibit, which opened to the public November 21, 2019. Visit the Museum or comment below to share your family’s immigration (or migration) story.


A luggage tag showing a visitor's immigration story at the American Writers Museum's newest exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

“My mother came here from China to marry my American father. After thirty years, her two children still don’t speak her native language, and that hurts me every day. I want to speak to her in her language. I want to know her culture, and yet I feel like I can never quite reach it.”

12/1/19 Chloe

A luggage tag showing a visitor's immigration story at the American Writers Museum's newest exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

“My ancestors were criminals in England and sent to the Virginia Colonies as “immigrants in bondage” – his punishment was one year of labor in VA and then they slowly moved Northwest over the years to Chicago in the 1860s.”


A luggage tag showing a visitor's immigration story at the American Writers Museum's newest exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

“My father immigrated to the U.S. from India in the 70s to pursue his Masters and PhD in biochemical engineering. My mom joined him a year later after acquiring a green card. My sister and I are first-generation Indian-Americans.”

12/16/19 Samira Kadam

A luggage tag showing a visitor's immigration story at the American Writers Museum's newest exhibit, My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

“Frank Zlamal left Czechoslovakia as a young man seeking refuge during the Cold War. This led him on a dangerous path eventually ending up in Canada where he met my grandmother and they immigrated to the U.S.”

11/23/19 Nicole Nigh (Zlamal)

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