The Sweetness of Freedom cover
The Sweetness of Freedom
Stories of Immigrants

The Sweetness of Freedom presents an eclectic grouping of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century immigrants' narratives and the personal artifacts, historical documents, and photographs these travelers brought on their journeys to Michigan. Most of the oral histories in this volume are based on interviews conducted with the immigrants themselves.
       Some of the immigrants presented here hoped to gain better education and jobs. Others—refugees—fled their homelands because of war, poverty, repression, religious persecution, or ethnic discrimination. All dreamt of freedom and opportunity. They tell why they left their homelands, why they chose to settle in Michigan, and what they brought or left behind. Some wanted to preserve their heritage, religious customs, traditions, and ethnic identity. Others wanted to forget past conflicts and lost family members. Their stories reveal how they established new lives far away from home, how they endured homesickness and separation, what they gave up and what they gained.

Publication Date: August 27th, 2010
392 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Bios
Martha Bloomfield gives workshops on oral histories and marginalized peoples to organizations, libraries, and schools. She adapts her programs to all ages and venues to inspire people to discover their own and others' stories through their voices, artifacts, historical documents, and family photographs. She is a member of the Michigan Humanities Council Arts and Humanities Touring Directory. Her earlier books include The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants (with Stephen Garr Ostrander), My Eyes Feel They Need to Cry: Stories from the Formerly Homeless, and Hmong Americans in Michigan. 

Stephen Garr Ostrander is a historian, exhibit designer, and writer for the Michigan Historical Museum. He designed the Movers and Seekers Exhibit.

Awards

2011
Book AwardMichigan Notable Book Award
Book AwardIPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award, Silver Medal for Multicultural Adult Non-fiction
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