Immigration by Elizabeth Sullivan (.pdf version)


Elizabeth Sullivan, who received a BA and MA in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, started at The Plain Dealer in 1979 as a business reporter. She served in a variety of local and overseas reporting capacities, with one earlier stint as an editorial writer, before rejoining the editorial board in 2003 as an associate editor and foreign affairs columnist. In 2009, Sullivan was named editor of the editorial pages. Additionally, Sullivan writes many of the newspaper’s editorials on energy, international and national security topics.

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Immigration and Migration in Cleveland from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Written by Dr. John J. Grabowski

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IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION. The growth of major industrial centers such as Cleveland was made possible in large part by the migration of peoples of a variety of origins to provide the labor or entrepreneurial skills demanded by the changing economy. The nature of this migration (that is, what groups arrived during particular time periods) was determined not only by the opportunities available in the city but also by national and international factors permitting, necessitating, or expediting the migration of various national groups. The nature of migration to Cleveland is like that of similar midwestern industrial centers, especially Chicago (although Chicago’s scale of immigration was much greater that Cleveland’s) and, to a degree, Detroit. Cleveland’s situation, however, was quite different from that of major ports such as New York, which gathered larger and more diverse populations.

During this area’s formative period, 1796-1830, the lack of large-scale economic opportunity provided little attraction for migration to the region. Those who did come were largely Americans of English or BRITISH IMMIGRATION ancestry who had previously resided in New England or New York, although some came directly from England or Scotland. A substantial Manx migration to the NEWBURGH area was unique in these early years. Toward the end of the period, some IRISH, utilized in part to construct the OHIO AND ERIE CANAL, and a few GERMANS, usually farmers with a previous American residence, came to the region. Following completion of the canal in 1832, and of a rail network in the 1850s, the area’s economic potential grew, particularly in mercantile endeavors, and it became more attractive to migrating groups. Most immigrants from 1830-70 came from the German states, Great Britain, and, particularly, Ireland, with the city attracting substantial representation from each of these groups. In doing so, it reflected national trends that saw the German and Irish populations of many major cities grow. It did, however, lag behind certain cities, such as Cincinnati, where earlier and more rapid economic development resulted in an earlier and more substantial growth of these ethnic groups.

The most substantial and diverse migration to Cleveland occurred from 1870-1914, the period of the “new immigration,” in which many Southern and Eastern Europeans came to the U.S. This large exodus was fostered by shortages of land in the home countries, more liberal emigration policies, increased military conscription, and, particularly for the Jews (see JEWS & JUDAISM), persecutions. Pogroms against Jews living in the Pale of Settlement of the Russian Empire occasioned an emigration that vastly increased the Jewish settlements of cities such as Cleveland after the 1880s. The entire process was facilitated by the development of relatively cheap, regular ocean transport. As this coincided with the tremendous post-Civil War expansion of Cleveland’s industrial base, the city received large numbers of ITALIANS, Austro-Hungarians, and RUSSIANS. The influx was so great that by 1874, the city stationed members of the police force, designated as emigrant officers, at its various railroad stations to count and assist new arrivals in the city. However, while these groups represented a new source of population, immigration from the older sources, as detailed on the accompanying chart, continued unabated. Indeed, until 1893 more Germans arrived annually in Cleveland than did any other national group. By 1900 the city’s German population of 40,648 was larger than that of any other foreign-born community. Because Cleveland’s industries expanded at a slightly later date than those in Chicago or Detroit, it received its infusion of “new immigrants” somewhat later than those cities. For instance, the Polish communities in those two cities had already established basic institutions such as churches and benefit organizations in the 1870s, while Cleveland’s Polish community (see POLES) was still in a nascent state. While the city’s representation of immigrants from these new sources parallels that in other cities, several groups did come to Cleveland in extraordinarily large concentrations, most prominently the SLOVENES and SLOVAKS.

World War I effectively ended large-scale European immigration, as the conflict involved many potential immigrants and strangled the sea lanes. Restrictive legislation, such as the Literacy Act of 1917 and Natl. Origins Act of 1921 (formalized in 1924), prohibited large-scale immigration after the conflict and provided quotas that discriminated against Southern and Eastern Europeans. Given the chaos in Europe following the war, it is justifiable to assume that the “new immigration” would have continued unabated had not restrictions been put in place. Despite problems in Europe, and particularly persecution in the Nazi German state, relatively little migration to the U.S. and Cleveland took place from 1914-45. However, the city’s need for people continued during much of this time, particularly during the war and before the Depression. New sources of migrants met this need, the most prominent of which was the American South, where thousands of blacks (see AFRICAN AMERICANS) came north to work in wartime industries. Cleveland, which had a black presence from its earliest history, had a relatively small black population of approx. 10,000 immediately before the war. By 1920 the figure had grown to 34,451, and 20 years later stood at over 85,000. Other new sources of migrants opened during this period; it was, for instance, in the 1920s that Cleveland received its first cohesive group of Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico. Although the Natl. Origins Act remained in effect after World War II, special acts permitting the immigration of displaced persons from Europe helped to partially replenish some of the older European immigrant populations of the city. Again, Cleveland was typical of other industrial cities in receiving large numbers of displaced persons during the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, its share was somewhat smaller than that received by Chicago, New York, and other large cities. During this period Cleveland’s UKRAINIANS population saw substantial growth, and following the 1956 revolution, the HUNGARIANS community was partially revitalized.

Of greater consequence from 1945-65 was the growth of non-European migrant groups who, like the Europeans, were attracted by the area’s still-growing postwar economy. In the immediate postwar period Cleveland’s Puerto Rican population began expanding. Initially brought to work in the steel mills of Lorain during the war, Puerto Ricans began moving eastward to Cleveland in the late 1940s and by the early 1960s formed a substantial community. Mexican immigration also continued; and following the Cuban revolution of 1959, the city received a substantial number of Cubans. Predominant in the period, however, was the continued movement of blacks into Cleveland. By 1960, the city’s black population was over 251,000. The postwar period also saw the large-scale migration of people from the depressed areas of Appalachia to the Cleveland area. Though many Appalachians had earlier migrated to Akron to work in the rubber industry, it was not until after the war that a further move north to Cleveland was made in any great number. The repeal of the Natl. Origins (Quota) Act in 1965 and its replacement with regulations restricting overall numbers of immigrants, but giving no preference to any country or countries, formed the basis of the most recent migration to Cleveland. During this period, the city’s economy began to falter; it was not, therefore, as attractive a destination as before, but it still managed to gather one of the most diverse, if not substantial, groups of immigrants in its history. In particular, the relaxation of restrictions on Asian immigration brought numbers of CHINESEKOREANSINDIANS (ASIAN), and Pakistanis to the city, many of them attracted initially by the area’s colleges, and later by the growth of its medical and research industries. War and economic decline in Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Middle East brought the city its first groups of VIETNAMESE., Guatemalans, and Palestinians during the 1970s and 1980s. Though not as large as previous immigrant or migrant groups, these newer communities represented a complete shift in the pattern of migration to Cleveland.

The pattern of broad-based immigration to Cleveland and Cuyahoga County continued into the 1990s. Although a number of new immigrants from the “Pacific Rim,” Mexico, and South America, continued to come to the area, their presence was not proportionately as large as it was in the southwest or on the East or West coasts. The census of 1990 (in which figures were based on a random sampling) showed over one-half of the foreign-born in the area to have European origins. Traditional older European groups, such as Poles and Italians, were still relatively large in the city. New groups, including immigrants from the former Soviet Union, buttressed these European figures. Much of the new European movement could be attributed to the breakup of the Soviet Union and economic problems in the states of the former Eastern Bloc as well as to ethnic unrest in eastern Europe. The first Bosnian refugees were arriving in Greater Cleveland by the early 1990s.

The changing international situation and economic position of Cleveland have shaped the nature of migration to the city in the past and will continue to do so as long as the area remains economically viable. It is important to note, however, that while the sources of migration have shifted innumerable times throughout the city’s history, few of these have ever totally ceased supplying people to the city. English immigration to the area, for instance, continues into the 1990s, as does the movement of native-born white Americans. Nor does the city permanently retain those people it attracts. While no major study of movement into and out of the city has been completed for Cleveland, it can be assumed that the city shares in the phenomenon of rapidly shifting population. Indeed, a limited study of the 25-block area around HIRAM HOUSE social settlement showed that during the early part of this century, over 90% of the residents in that area moved during a 10-year period. Cleveland, thus, is not an end point for movement but often a temporary haven in the pattern of national and international population movement.

John J. Grabowski

Western Reserve Historical Society

Americanization from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Written by Edward M. Miggins

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AMERICANIZATION. The heavy influx of immigrants into cities such as Cleveland before and after the Civil War tested the belief that America could easily assimilate foreign newcomers. Hector Crevecoeur, an 18th-century French writer, had popularized the image of America as a mix of races and nationalities blending into and forming a new culture. On the other hand, nativists who had organized the Know-Nothing Party before the Civil War feared that the foreign customs and “vices” of non-Anglo-Saxon people would destroy America. Anglo-conformists with a similar concern believed in less drastic solutions to make immigrants shed their foreign customs and assimilate into the Protestant, middle-class American mainstream. The public schools were especially burdened with this task.

One of the primary objectives of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS since their beginning in 1836 has been the assimilation of foreign-born immigrants into American society. The leaders of the city’s schools before the Civil War were transplanted New Englanders who believed that the public or common school was a panacea for the social and economic ills of American society. They claimed, like educator Horace Mann of Massachusetts, that the compulsory attendance of all children in the public schools would educate children not only in the “three Rs,” but also in the cultural values of Anglo-Saxon America. In 1835 Calvin Stowe, one of the most influential leaders of Ohio’s public-school movement, told teachers that it was essential for America’s national strength that the foreigners who settled on our soil should cease to be Europeans and become Americans. But the public school found that immigrant children needed specialized programs to succeed in the classroom. In Mayflower School, built at the corner of Mayflower (31st St.) and Orange in 1851, the majority of students came from Czech families (see CZECHS), and only 25% of the pupils could speak English by the 1870s. Teachers spent a portion of each day providing special lessons in the English language. In 1870 superintendent ANDREW RICKOFF† and the school board instituted the teaching of German, to successfully enroll the majority of the more than 2,000 children of German parentage (see GERMANS) who had previously attended PRIVATE SCHOOLS that taught subjects in German. Educational leaders in Cleveland before the turn of the century believed that the addition of different nationalities would strengthen Anglo-Saxon America, as long as the newcomers conformed to the dominant culture. The goal of mixing nationalities in the common schools was not endorsed by all immigrant groups in the 19th century. Cleveland’s Irish Catholics followed the advice of Bp. RICHARD GILMOUR†, who condemned the public schools as irreligious and told his congregants that they were Catholics first and citizens second (see CATHOLICS, ROMAN). By 1884 123 parochial schools had enrolled 26,000 pupils (see PAROCHIAL EDUCATION (CATHOLIC)). Nationality churches served over 200,000 people by the turn of the century. Parochial schools of the Catholic diocese that taught foreign languages and customs flourished as Cleveland became the home of newcomers from Southern and Eastern Europe. Described as “the new immigrants,” they increased from 43,281 to 115,870 people between 1900-10.

School reformers questioned the effectiveness of the policy of Anglo-conformity in the face of the growing cultural diversity of the student population. Some celebrated the philosophy of the “melting pot,” or the mixing of nationalities together. Brownell School on Prospect Ave. had enrolled, for example, over 30 different nationalities by the turn of the century. SETTLEMENT HOUSES, such as HIRAM HOUSE in the Central-Woodland neighborhood of Eastern European Jews and ITALIANS, provided the city’s first citizenship and vocational-education programs, and became the social-service model for Cleveland’s immigrants. In doing so, the settlements carried forward citizenship programs that had been instituted early in the century by patriotic societies such as the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1901 Harmon School provided “steamer classes,” language instruction for foreign-born children. Evening schools taught adult immigrants civics and English, to help them pass naturalization exams. Schools also expanded social-welfare programs to meet the needs of immigrant, working-class children and youth. In 1907 a medical dispensary, the first of its kind, opened in LITTLE ITALY. Despite these efforts to reach immigrants, the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION‘s school survey of 1915 criticized the school system for not providing enough steamer classes and other specialized programs: among public school students, over 50% came from homes in which a foreign language was spoken. It was estimated that over 60,000 unnaturalized immigrants lived in Cleveland and that two-thirds of the student population left school before the legally required age of 16 for girls and 15 for boys.

The entrance of America into World War I increased anxiety over the effectiveness of the public schools’ Americanization program in securing the loyalty of foreign-born immigrants and their children. RAYMOND MOLEY†, a political science professor from Western Reserve Univ. (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY.), was hired to direct its activities. On 6 April 1917, Mayor HARRY L. DAVIS† appointed the MAYOR’S ADVISORY WAR COMMITTEE, which created a “Committee of the Teaching of English to Foreigners,” with business leader HAROLD T. CLARK† as chair. Renamed the Cleveland Americanization Council, the organization coordinated 68 local groups and worked with state and federal programs. The Board of Education trained language teachers, and the Citizens Bureau at city hall supplied instructors of naturalization. Both programs were offered at schools, factories, libraries, social settlements, churches, and community centers. Naturalization classes enrolled 2,067 students during the fall of 1919. The council launched a citywide publicity campaign, which included posters in different languages and advertisements in 22 nationality newspapers. The ideology of social efficiency, often used with employers, stressed that the Americanization of foreign workers would increase their punctuality, orderliness, and productivity. Moley wrote Lessons in Citizenship, a civics handbook, to help immigrants pass naturalization exams. The War Advisory Committee asked ELEANOR LEDBETTER†, a foreign-language librarian for the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY (CPL), and other researchers to write a series of sympathetic studies of the city’s nationality cultures and neighborhoods. The library also provided newspapers and books in over 20 different languages to reach the foreign-born. Despite this advocacy of cultural pluralism as the basis for mutual exchange and respect, the bitter controversies and feelings aroused during wartime America caused many Americans to lose faith in public school assimilation.

Superintendent FRANK SPAULDING† and the majority of the school board supported the removal and prosecution of a socialist board member who publicly opposed America’s participation in World War I, under the Espionage Act of 1917. The board also terminated the teaching of German and required a loyalty oath from teachers as part of the wartime campaign for “100% Americanism.” Events surrounding the MAY DAY RIOTS and Red Scare of 1919-20 aroused public anger against foreign immigrants who supported radical or progressive causes. On 1 May 1919, the Socialist party’s march in support of the Russian Revolution on Cleveland’s PUBLIC SQUARE incited a riot and the arrest of 116 demonstrators. Local newspapers quickly pointed out that only 8 of those arrested had been born in the U.S. The city government immediately passed laws to restrict parades and the display of red flags. Newspapers and business, labor, and civic organizations called for the deportation of foreigners not wanting to become Americans. Others called for stronger Americanization programs.

Harold T. Clark asked for the passage of a law to compel young people to attend school until the age of 21, and for the adoption of methods used by the army to teach soldiers English. Allen Burns, former director of the CLEVELAND FOUNDATION‘s survey program, conducted a series of studies to improve Americanization programs for the Carnegie Foundation. Cleveland educators and social workers complained about the postwar financial cuts in citizenship training. The PLAIN DEALER alarmingly reported that the city’s immigrant population contained over 85,000 unnaturalized men, and if their families were counted, the number of unnaturalized foreigners rose to approx. 212,000 out of a total residential population of 796,841. The postwar arrival of millions of Southern and Eastern Europeans created a sense of panic throughout America. Schools were judged incapable of assimilating what were seen as biologically inferior groups of immigrants. In 1924 Congress passed a quota law that drastically reduced the number of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe to 3% of their prewar level, and in effect banned Asians from coming to America.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, immigrant neighborhoods and organizations responded to the needs of the second generation. Often the American-born and -educated children clashed with the values and customs of their parents and moved from their ethnic neighborhoods. Intermarriage between individuals of the same religious faith but different ethnic background created the triple melting pot among Catholics, Jews, and Protestants (see RELIGION). Ethnic parishes and newspapers began to communicate in English as the second and third generations lost the urgency to speak their mother tongue. LA VOCE DEL POPOLO ITALIANO, an Italian nationality newspaper, advertised in English and urged its readers to naturalize. Some ethnic groups controlled assimilation by modifying and adapting their organizations. The Polish immigrant parish gradually changed, for example, to the hyphenated parish of the Polish-American community, and finally to the American parish of Polish ancestry (see POLES). The nationality parish declined in membership in the central city and became a rarity in the SUBURBS because of restrictive immigration laws and demographic changes. Between 1930-40, Cleveland’s foreign-born population decreased by 51,763, or 22.2%, and dropped to a total of 179,183. The proportion of foreign-born in the city’s total population declined from 30.1% in 1920 to 14.5% in 1950. As the second and third generations became more successful economically and more Americanized, or less dependent on nationality organizations, they moved into what were once Protestant-dominated suburbs after World War II.

Different generations of immigrants continued to search for an identity that balanced both their ethnic heritage and the American environment. A conscious celebration of nationality cultures counteracted American ethnocentrism. Folk festivals, sponsored by the CLEVELAND FOLK ARTS ASSN., nationality holidays, fraternal organizations, the All Nations Festival, and the CLEVELAND CULTURAL GARDEN FEDERATION all celebrated immigrant contributions to the city. In 1948 the Mayfield Merchants’ Assn. in LITTLE ITALY sponsored a banquet to honor Miss Florence Graham. Of Irish descent, she had faithfully served and fought discrimination against the city’s Italian-American community since 1908, during her tenure as teacher and principal in the neighborhood’s Murray Hill School. The Intl. Institute of the YOUNG WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSN. (YWCA), organized in 1916, trained older immigrants to work with recent arrivals. The Citizens Bureau, with the support of the Welfare Federation, supplied aid, advice, and naturalization classes. The bureau also cooperated with the citizenship and English classes for foreign-born pupils in the public schools, classes which 130,000 foreign-speaking students had attended by 1929.

Eleanor Ledbetter, in addition to building a foreign-language collection at CPL, compiled a volume of Czech fairytales and a bibliography of Polish literature. HELEN HORVATH†, who had immigrated from Hungary in 1897, began mothers’ clubs and educational programs for foreign newcomers. The public schools asked to incorporate her efforts, and she spoke about immigrant education at many universities. John Dewey, the leading philosopher and proponent of progressive education, praised the work of Verdine Peck Hull, who had pioneered a course in interracial tolerance in the public schools in 1924. He declared that the program’s emphasis on mutual understanding represented true Americanism. In 1973 the city created Senior Ethnic Find, a program to help elderly immigrants use available social services. The Nationalities Services Center (see INTERNATIONAL SERVICES CENTER), created by a merger of the Intl. Institute and the Citizens Bureau in 1954, and the LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (est. 1934) helped immigrants displaced by totalitarian regimes and World War II. The Cleveland Immigration & Naturalization Service has helped residents sponsor the immigration of relatives, friends, and refugees from other countries and assisted newcomers in becoming citizens.

With the decline in European immigration after World War I, Cleveland employers looked to the American South as a source of cheap labor. Over 100,000 Appalachians and 200,000 blacks migrated to the Greater Cleveland area in the ensuing years (see AFRICAN AMERICANS). The URBAN LEAGUE OF GREATER CLEVELAND helped blacks find jobs and housing and, assisted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (NAACP), to fight discrimination. A plethora of black churches, KARAMU HOUSE, and fraternal organizations helped rural black newcomers adjust to the urban environment. In the 1960s, public schools began remedial and special education programs for minorities or others described as culturally disadvantaged. Cleveland’s post-World War II population became even more diverse with the addition of Asians, Russian Jewish refugees (seeJEWS & JUDAISM), and Spanish-speaking people from Puerto Rico and Central or South America, Cuba, and Mexico (see HISPANIC COMMUNITY). Displaced persons from Eastern Europe were the major foreign group in English classes, which enrolled over 2,000 students in the public schools in 1949. The Nationalities Service Center flew 270 Cuban refugees into the city as thousands fled Fidel Castro’s victory in 1959.

In 1965 Congress changed the immigration law. With ethnic origin no longer a factor in admittance to the U.S., preferential treatment was given to people with relatives living in America or occupational skills that America needed and refugees from Communism. People from the Far East and India were allowed to enter in large numbers. By the mid-1970s, almost one-third of America’s immigrants came from Asia. Filipinos (see ), Chinese, KOREANS,VIETNAMESE., and Cambodians swelled the population of cities. In 1975 the greatest proportion of the 400,000 immigrants came from the West Indies and Mexico. New and old organizations developed programs to meet the needs of Cleveland’s changing immigrant population. Cleveland’s Islamic Center (see ISLAMIC CENTER OF CLEVELAND) built a mosque in PARMA to serve the needs of the Arab community. The city’s Vietnamese people opened a Buddhist Temple in Cleveland’s near west side. A refugee resettlement office was started to serve approx. 1,500 Vietnamese as well as Laotian and Cambodian immigrants by providing social, employment, and translating services. Approximately 10,000 Asian Indians, of whom the majority were educated professionals, were dispersed throughout the metropolitan region. Cleveland’s Asian community constructed a new addition to the city’s Nationality Gardens in Rockefeller Park near UNIVERSITY CIRCLE and held an annual festival celebrating the diversity of their cultures. The U.S. State Dept. asked the JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE ASSN. to adapt its methods of resettlement to other groups. JFS helped more than 600 Indo-Chinese as well as 1,500 Russian refugees to resettle locally.

By the 1980s, Cleveland’s Spanish-speaking groups had more than 30,000 members in Cleveland. Already citizens of the U.S., Puerto Rican migrants were the largest group. They were assisted by a variety of civic and fraternal organizations, the Spanish American Committee (see SPANISH AMERICAN COMMITTEE), an official liaison at city hall, and an employment-service bureau. Spanish Catholics established SAN JUAN BAUTISTA on the city’s near west side. The Hispanic community helped their young adults with scholarships and educational or cultural programs through the ESPERANZA, INC., Program and the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center. Fifteen hundred Spanish-speaking students constituted the major group in the “English as a Second Language” program in the Cleveland public schools. Over 100 Vietnamese children were also enrolled in the bilingual course.

The PACE ASSN. (Program for Action by Citizens in Education), organized in 1963, developed a human-relations curriculum and trained teachers to increase multicultural understanding. The public schools also developed curriculum to promote an awareness of the history and contributions of minority groups. To combat prejudice against the city’s newest immigrant groups, the Bilingual and Multicultural Education Program of the Cleveland Public Schools helped foreign newcomers learn English and to celebrate their cultural backgrounds. In 1981 it started an annual conference to promote multicultural education as part of the curriculum of the public schools. The program helps students live in a pluralistic world by fostering an appreciation and respect for people of different backgrounds.

Historically, the reaction of Clevelanders to immigrants and migrants has paralleled that of the country in general. Important differences between and among nationality groups have shaped their responses to the culture of the host country. “Birds of Passage,” immigrants who came to America to earn as much money as quickly as possible before returning home, had little interest in becoming citizens or in being Americanized. Programs to assimilate immigrants depended heavily on the immigrants’ reasons for coming to America, as well as the public’s attitudes toward newcomers. When the economy of the city was expanding and in need of cheap labor, immigrants were seen as a vital part of the labor force and capable of becoming American. When the economy slumped in the 1890s and 1930s, or when the public became inflamed over patriotic unity, as occurred in the post-World War I and VIETNAM WAR eras, immigrants were viewed as threats to social harmony and incapable of assimilating. Native-born fears about new immigrants revealed a deep insecurity about American social life and were connected directly to cycles of economic growth and decline. Resentment against the racial backgrounds and illegal entry of foreign newcomers, job losses, and the rising cost of social-welfare and educational services also increased in the 1980s, as approx. 9 million immigrants arrived in America. The total surpassed all previous decades in American history.

Since the 1970s, the American public has seen the rise of a “new ethnic consciousness,” a movement celebrated in Michael Novak’s The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics. Novak believes that millions of ethnics who tried to become Americanized according to the norms of the dominant culture were delighted to find that they no longer had to pay that price. Ethnic pride in cultural differences provided not only a stronger sense of community for immigrant groups, but also an antidote to an age in which modern systems of communication and commerce emphasized the greatest common denominators for a mass audience of supposedly like-minded individuals. This new attitude of cultural pluralism was quickly manifested in cities such as Cleveland. During the 1970s and 1980s, a series of programs began, including the Greater Cleveland Ethnographic Museum, Peoples & Cultures, the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY‘s Cleveland Regional Ethnic Archives Program, the Public Library’s Cleveland Heritage Program, and CUYAHOGA COMMUNITY COLLEGE‘s Community Studies Program and Oral History Center, that reflected this change in American attitudes. They continued the celebration of regional cultural vitality begun by people such as Eleanor Ledbetter and Helen Horvath, who created a sympathetic understanding of immigrants as the basis for the Americanization of Cleveland.


Edward M. Miggins


Cuyahoga Community College