Hyphen-nation (Reading Blog #7)

Hyphen-nation, chapter one of Roots Too by Annie Rophie, explores ethnicity in America and its impact on American society. In the first section of the chapter, Rophie talks about President John F. Kennedy and his return to Ireland in June 1963. Kennedy,  an Irish-American and the first Catholic president, traveled to Ireland to visit his extended family. To the people that saw this trip, it would spark interest in Americans,  making them to see themselves something else other than American. In the second section,  she mentions an “ethnic revival”, where disenfranchised minority groups started to fight for and demand civil rights. leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr and Cesar Chavez led the charge for equal rights for the African-American and Latino-American communities respectfully. Rophie also talks about a different ethnic revival, one that is caused by anti-modernism. during this ethnic revival,  people forgot why their ancestors came to America in the first place, and begin to romanticize the motherland/fatherland. This ethnic revival would segment into Rophie’s final section in the chapter,  the Heritage Project. after romanticizing their homeland or watching mind-awakening programs like Roots, people desired to know where they came from. This led to the start of heritage trips,  the development of basic family trees, and eventually with the internet, research connecting a person’s family history with a location around the world (websites like ancestry.com are examples of this).

In conclusion,  I think that Rophie could have explained this topic a little bit better,  but in the end, she did manage to get her point across that ethnicity plays a big role in our society.

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