Thank You to Our Ancestors and Ourselves

ESL students

Adult ESL Class

Who built the USA?  THANK YOU!

I have had the good fortune to teach new immigrants from all over the world English in the USA. From them I have learned how we are one human family. In the USA, all of us have come from nearly every continent in the world  and were immigrants except for indigenous Americans.

Our country was built by African slaves who suffered in slavery and with no compensation for 244 years.  Thank you to all African Americans and your people. The Chinese Americans and other Asian groups helped to build America’s rails. Thank you to you and your people. The Irish, Italians, Germans, French, and other peoples who constructed our cities, our roads, farmed our land, and worked our docks.  Thank you to all your people. The English brought their ideas and started a new model of government.  Thank you to you and your people. Thank you to all people of all cultures and countries who were and are our teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, architects, shopkeepers, bank tellers, therapists, computer designers, administrative assistants, social workers, athletes, police officers, firemen, postal workers, ministers, some lawyers, writers, artists, and artisans.

Thank you ALL for bringing your food, creativity, music, dance, and culture to this country. In the twentieth and this century we have become a home to so many other cultures from all over the world that it is difficult to name all of them.  This country would not be possible without all the Americans workers here, past and present. It has taken ALL of us to get where we are. It is time to thank OURSELVES, too.

We can’t undo this part of our heritage (slavery). But what we can affect is where we are headed. I want to talk about multiculturalism because I think that is where we are headed.

Dr. John Hope Franklin, Historian

See a video from 1998 with John Hope Franklin:

Who do you think built the USA?