Famine Irish immigrants and African-American were the poorest refugees to have ever arrive in the U.S. The goups found it hard to survive in the country. They settled in the lowest rung of the community in regions such as Massachusetts, Boston, and Anglo-Saxon city where there was nobody to help them. However, the African-American and Famine Irish began to champion for social, economic, and political identity over time. That is, immigrants initiated a Social Revolution which enabled them to achieve freedom and participate in political processes. Overall, the African American and Famine Irish in the New York, wanted to have a quality education for their childen, achieve liberation, and establish social identity to achieve full citizenship.
The Negro organization with Ray as the pressident wanted to have better schools in 1857. In its effort to attain this goal, the group presented a documented paper to show why their request for quality education was valid (Aptheker 2). The Famine Irish and African American noticed a bigger disparity between the education they accessed and what the whites received. For example, the white chidren attended isolated private schools while the colored children went to public schools. According to Aptheker, the Board of Education expanded building and sites in white and colored schools at “$1,600,000 and $1,000 respectively” (2). This reveals that the immigrants experienced social and education disparity in New York City.
The alienation “predisposed Irish population to perceive themselves as emigrants” (Miller 113). Some of the causes of the allianation include the fact that the culture, education system, and religion of Americans deemphasized or condemed the emigrants. For example, the whites barred African-Americans and Famine Irish from accessing quality education since they feared competition. As such, colored students could only attend schools constructed in 1820 which were located in poor areas (Robert 102-104). In fact, it was evidenced in New York the way the colored children were degraded and neglected.
However, the emmigrants fought hard by drafting a comprehensive document to the Board of Education to request them to offer better education. Despite the fact that African-Americans and Irish were emmigrants, they contributed to the GDP of the U.S. like native Americans. Therefore, it was vital for the government to ensure that they access quality public services. Robert asserts that the government “stepped forward and advanced funds” to improve public services such as education (103). In other words, the government considered their request and tried to improve the public schools.
Better schooling enabled the Negro families to reduce cultural and social disparity. The whites created a social and cultural stereotype which made it hard to associate with them. The parliament perpetrated this practice by passing a Passangers Act which required “unmarried men age fourteen to be housed separate” (Anbinder138). This implies that the whites did not have confidence that African-Americans and Irish immigrants men could stay in one place with women. In fact, they perceived them as less human. In response to how the whites treated them, the Negros sought to change the attitude and perception of the whites by receiving quality education. For example, the Negro wanted the general examination to have equal reading and spelling for both white and colored students in all schools.
The Negros also strived to achieve economic liberation in the USA. In other words, the African-Americans and Famine Irish emigrants wanted to achieve universal freedom and humanity. Aptheker 511-528 argues that the Negros wanted to achieve “liberation and enfranchisement of our races” and being inccluded in the council, faith, and labor (1). When the Negros entered U.S., they encountered oppression whereby they became slaves in the white farms. Anbinder asserts that people in Irish staved without food and water and any assistance could help the immigrants assist people left at home (137). In other words, they reluctantly agreed to work as slaves to save their people.
However, as things got better, they thought that it was important to gain liberty. Aptheker511-528 affirms that the Negros required the government to overthrow “shareholders’ oligarchy and annihilation of the nepotism” so that they can work freely in the country (1). In this regard, the Negros attained the liberty to contribute to agricultural production and political development. Some of the organizations which assisted the emmigrant to achieve liberty include National Convention and Democratic party. The organizations wanted the whites to stop prejudice against the African-Americans as well as avoid being sentimental and pass laws that infringed the rights of emmigrants. The immigrants believed that if the government enabled them to attain liberty, there would be “speedy development” (Robert 104).
The imigrants further wanted to establish social identity in the U.S. That is, the immigrants thought it was important to continue with their tradition and religion in the foreign land. Miller alludes that the immigrants “reflected and reinforced traditional communal attitude” in America (113). For example, they wanted the government to allow them to continue with their Irish Catholic way of preaching so that they could connect with other people at home. However, the U.S. forced them to be Anglicans. Such controversy resulted to conflict which affected the immigrants. O’Donnell asserts that the Irish were affected by the “Long-term American perception” (49). As such, some Famine Irish emigrants changed their traditions and customs. However, the Irish Emigrant Society enlightened the immigrant to honor their culture and religion to leave peacefully in foreign land. In addition, the society persuaded the New York City government to allow the immigrants conduct their cultural ceremonies to get attached to their home.
In conclusion, the Famine Irish wanted to have a better school, achieve liberation, and establish social identity.The quest to achieve these aspects could enable them achieve full citizenship in New York. Through liberation, the Negros could have favorable environment to fasten development.
Anbinder, Tyler. City of Dreams: Famine. Simon and Schuster, 2012. Print.
Aptheker 398-402. New York Negros Appeal For Better Schools, 1857.Print.
Aptheker 511-528. The Syracuse National Negros Convention, 1864. Print.
Miller A. Kerby. Irish Immigrants Who Perceived America As Exile. Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
Miller, Kerby A. Emigrants and Exiles: Ireland and the Irish Exodus to North America. Oxford University Press, USA, 1988.Print.
O’Donnell, Edward. “The scattered debris of the Irish Nation: the Famine Irish and New York City, 1845–1855′.”Essays on Emigration and Famine (Queens University Press, Belfast) (1997).
Robert Whytes. European Migration and the Radical Attempts to Conserve, 1830-1880. Routledge, n.d. Print.