For this storytelling project we focused on the Assimilation and Ethnic Identity of immigrants to 1920s Philadelphia. The focus is on how immigrants in Philadelphia either retained aspects of their identity or embraced, more so assimilated to the American culture.

TLA Address then.jpeg


Background and Thesis

We want to present a new view on the internal struggles many immigrants had to face. Do Immigrants either completely abandon their culture and identity and adopt a romanticized view of America as their new one? 
America is famously referred to as the “melting pot,” where people of many cultures and nations have formed a unity on the basis of shared principles.
Given that, should every U.S. immigrant – regardless of his or her cultural background – be assimilated into the principles and traditions which made America what it is?



Each interview consists of immigrants handling this issue differently--some immigrants tried their best to preserve their own culture and identity while others decided to abandon it. We hope this project will provide  some insight into what they experienced first hand coming to a new world. Hear the voices of the following immigrants, Anna Aleski, Antony Catalano, Gilda Cetrullo, Frank DiSipio, Armand DiStefano, Michael Giovannelli, David Kaplan, and Mildred Keyser while they provide an oral history of the challenges they faced trying to acclimate to a whole new way of life.



We hope to provide a new perspective on how immigrants coped with being immersed in a new culture while trying to preserve their own. Background information is provided through various quotes and images from eight immigrants who came to America in the 1920s who eventually settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Each have voiced their thoughts on how they assimilated and embraced the American way or attempted to retain their culture in the new world.


I believe that every man who dons the garb of American citizenship and walks in the light of American opportunity, must become American in heart and soul. –



Kolby Gonzalez, Alexis Jennings, Cassondra Kelchner, Denise Meikle



©2018 by Ethnic Assimilation. Proudly created with

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now