Story of the Week, a blog series highlighting visitor stories from the American Writers Museum, for June 19, 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. Today’s stories remind us that not all immigrants are adults.


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 grandmother was an immigrant. She fled from Mexico at 12 years old with one of her older sisters (15). 3 years before that, her mother had passed away and her other siblings completely hated her so they left and never saw them again.”

1/22/20

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit online at My-America.org

“My family moved to the US in 2018. My mom had gotten a promotion and needed to be in her company’s headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. I was 12 when we moved. Initially I was upset at the thought of leaving my friends, home and family to move to a foreign country and being a new kid. However, the thought of living in the land of freedom and opportunities was much bigger than the fear of change. We were thrilled about the life we would get to live in America.”

5/29/2020
Zoya Adwika Abbas
Part 1 of 2

A luggage tag detailing a story written by a visitor to the My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today Exhibit online at My-America.org

“In the beginning, I used to feel very foreign. I live in a city where there aren’t that many Indian families which was very strange for me and I would feel like an outcast anytime I was in public. After getting over the initial insecurity, I took advantage of the place I was in. I signed up for any opportunity I got my hands on. Moving here helped me get so many new windows to improve and show off my interests and passions. That is why my family moved to America, for equal possibilities and platforms to excel.”

5/29/2020
Zoya Adwika Abbas
Part 2 of 2

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 are immigrants from Vietnam because of the Vietnam War. My dad was seven when the Vietnam War started.”

1/15/20
Jonathan
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