Ethnic and Racial Diversity in the United States

So in this continent, the energy of Irish, Germans, Swedes, Poles and all the European tribes, of the Africans, and of the Polynesians—will construct a new race, a new religion, a new state.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

BEFORE YOU READ

Preview Vocabulary

A. Work with a partner to answer the questions. Make sure you understand the meaning of the AWL words in italics. [77]

8. If an ethnic minority wants to retain its culture, are families more likely to continue speaking their native language at home or to speak English?

9. If smoking is prohibited in a public facility, are you allowed to smoke there or not?

10. How many generations back can you trace your ancestry?

B. Some words in English have a positive or negative connotation. That is, they give you a good or bad feeling. For example, hero has a positive connotation, while villain has a negative connotation.

Write a plus sign (+) next to the words that you think have a positive connotation and a minus sign (-) next to words with a negative connotation.

accommodation

inspire

civil rights

integration

despair

poverty

discrimination

prejudice

elite

resources

festival

segregation

inequality

slavery

inferior

Preview Content

A. Before you read, think about what you know about the racial and ethnic diversity of the United States. Discuss the questions with your classmates. [78]

В. Before you read the chapter, read the headings for each section. Which sections do you think will help you answer these questions? Write the heading of each section in the space below each question.

1. When did slavery end in the United States?

2. When did legal segregation end?

3. Why do some people describe American culture as a “salad bowl”?

4. How will diverse cultures affect the nation in the future?

5. What group had the strongest influence on the American culture?

6. What effect did immigrants from southern and eastern Europe have on the American culture?

7. What contradictions are there in American society today?

image144

In 1899, an American Indian speaks to a history class at Hampton Institute, Virginia, a historically black college.

Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:16 pm