For refugees fleeing for their lives, Lowell is city of hope

For refugees fleeing for their lives, Lowell is city of hope

May 11, 2017. From the article: For more than 70 years, survivors of war and genocide have settled in Lowell, bringing with them little more than the hope for a better life. “They open businesses. They’re raising families. And they carry this incredible history with them,” said Robert Forrant, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. “They don’t wear it on their sleeve. Unless it’s a tattoo number from a concentration camp, it’s not that obvious.”

Vietnamese – Global Boston

Vietnamese - Global Boston

Vietnamese refugees and immigrants have been coming to greater Boston since the end of the Vietnam War and are now the second largest Asian immigrant group in the region. In the wake of the Vietnam War, a thirty-year conflict that killed millions of people and left the country devastated, the US became one of several countries to resettle Southeast Asian refugees. The first to leave were several thousand South Vietnamese military and government officials who departed with US forces in 1975. As a refugee crisis unfolded over the next decade, the US took responsibility for resettlement of roughly a million people who feared persecution under Communist rule. The Boston area was one of the top ten resettlement sites in the country; by the year 2000 more than 30,000 Vietnamese were living in Massachusetts, roughly a third of them in the city of Boston.

Zoot Suit Riots, 1943

Zoot Suit Riots, 1943

“Zoot Suit Riots, 1943”. The zoot suit was a popular style of dress among nonwhite youths during WWII. With ballooned pants that tapered at the ankle, oversized jackets, and a broad-rimmed hat, zoot suits were a way for these marginalized groups to express autonomy. Mainstream society, however, viewed zoot culture as rebellious. In June of 1943, violence escalated in Los Angeles when white servicemen scoured the city attacking zoot suiters. The targets were predominately Mexican Americans, but African Americans and Filipino Americans were also attacked. For several days, servicemen dragged nonwhite youths into the streets where they beat them and stripped them of their zoot suits. The Zoot Suit Riots lasted for days and sparked racial violence across home front America.