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Ethnic Groups and Discrimination

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Ethnic Groups and Discrimination
Charles Varner II
Jan 15, 2012

Ethnic Groups and Discrimination
    I have chosen to write on the Irish ethnicity as my ethnic group, due to a vast portion of my family heritage originating from Ireland.   My research has determined that the Irish immigrated to the United States during the 1850’s after the great potatoes famine that struck many Irish farms in Ireland that lead to a mass starvation.   Many Irish fled Ireland and immigrated to the United States of America with promises and hopes of a better life for their families.   This unfortunately was not the case upon arrival for nearly all of the Irish immigrants.   Irish immigrants faced multiple forms of discrimination when arriving in the United States of America such as preconceived forms of prejudice and segregation.
    Even with life in Ireland being brutal and harsh after the potatoes famine, immigrating to the United States was not a pleasant experience. Many Irish prior to their journey held an unusual tradition known as "the American Wake".   The American Wake was more of a funeral for the living than a celebration. The wake was held in order for children, friends, and relatives of Irish men and women who were leaving to be able to say final goodbyes, to impart wisdom to the immigrant, to obtain tips on how to survive and make a life for themselves. The Irish immigrants were well aware that the journey was risky and becoming established in a new country with little resources would be a difficult task. With the only future left in Ireland being an ever increasing amount of poverty, disease, death, and depression, many Irish had no other choice but to seek a better life elsewhere.   (Marshall, n.d.)  
    Irish immigration began by the masses of Irish men and women boarding ships making them severely overcrowded, branded “Coffin Ships” because the conditions were unimaginably cramped, filthy, lacking essential supplies, disease...


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