Immigration History on Parade in South Philly

South Philadelphia JROTC, Columbus Day Parade, 2014. photo by Don Groff

South Philadelphia JROTC, Columbus Day Parade, 2014. photo by Don Groff

Living immigration and ethnic history in the October 12, 2014 Columbus Day Parade in South Philadelphia:  As expected, Mummers, high school marching bands, and ethnic heritage societies happily dominated the parade, proudly reflcting the event’s Italian American theme and long history in South Philadelphia.  The members of the South Philadelphia High School JROTC added another welcome story. The legacy of the post-1965 wave of immigration made possible by the 1965 Immigration Act. The faces of these kids reflect the new generation of immigrants coming to South Philly in recent decades. Recent immigrant families seek the same opportunities that Italian Americans drawn to South Philly in the late 19th and early 20th century sought and celebrate. Historical memory should make immigration reform easy. Unfortunately, political dementia too often overrides the lessons of history.

Columbus Day Parade, October 12, 2014. Photo by Don Groff

Columbus Day Parade, October 12, 2014. Photo by Don Groff

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