Chapter one of Roots Too, Hyphen Nation explores the notion of ‘ethnicity’  and its effect on American culture over time. The author first uses the presidency of John F. Kennedy in demonstrating and glamorizing ‘ethnicity’ in the American society. The author states, “There was nothing “un-American” about Kennedy’s Irishness…his wild Irish reception did indicate a new way of imagining Americanness itself.”  This sentence perfectly describes the beginning of the emergence of “ethnic” glamorization in Hollywood films and TV shows that bank on the “nation of immigrants” concept.  Alex Haley’s Roots is another example the author uses to demonstrate the American emergence of ‘ethnicity’ and interest in genealogy.  The author states that this show also brought out a “new ethnicity” to American culture. By this the author means that it “introduced a new and contagious idiom of group identity and group rights on the American scene.” It opened the floodgates of civil liberties and group rights for these ethnic groups that had been denied in American society. The author also talks about ethnic revivalism. A notion he describes as “a sentimental journey to the harsh circumstances that those giants endured and overcame.” A nationalist fervor that swept over the American society. The Sopranos, and Fiddler on the Roof are examples of this “mainstream” theme of  ethnic triumph in America.

Categories: History 297

1 Comment

Moon · October 2, 2017 at 8:12 am

Good job. Make sure that you are more specific in the future.

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