Story of the Week, a blog series highlighting visitor stories from the American Writers Museum, for September 4, 2020

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 My-America.org to see a virtual version of the exhibit, share your story, and possibly be featured here!

Part of our newest temporary exhibit features an interactive station that allowed visitors to write their family’s story on a luggage tag and stamp it with the reason their family came to the United States or how they’ve moved within the country, 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 My-America.org or comment below to share your family’s immigration (or migration) story.


A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My mom’s family was forced to leave Montana in the late 1800s. They were Lakota, and fled genocide by the US. We still live in Saskatchewan, Canada, which gave us refuge more than 100 years ago.”

Jan. 31, 2020

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“I came as a 11 y.o. girl – stuffed in the hold of a fishing boat to escape detection by communist Viet Cong and pirates – in summer of ’75. That journey was the start of losses. I lost my country, my culture, my family, my identity, my language. It has taken me nearly 45 years to begin to recapture fragments of what I’d lost.”

2/6/2020

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My father’s family lived in Cambodia in the 70s. In 1975 the Khmer Rouge took over and the genocide started. One of my uncles were rounded up with other people and they were sprayed with bullets under a moonlit night. And so my grandfather and the rest of the family snuck away from Battambang to Thailand, where they were soon transferred to the US as refugees.”

3/10/20
Ryan Red

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit at the American Writers Museum in Chicago

“My parents immigrated here after getting married in India. This set up opportunities for me and my sister as well as a better life for them.”

2-6-20

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