The influence of Greek culture on Michigan began long before the first Greeks arrived. The American settlers of the Old Northwest Territory had definite notions of Greeks and Greek culture. America and its developing society and culture were to be the "New Athens," a locale where the resurgence in the values and ideals of classical Greece were to be reborn. Stavros K. Frangos describes how such preconceptions and the competing desires to retain heritage and to assimilate have shaped the Greek experience in Michigan. From the padrone system to the church communities, Greek institutions have both exploited and served Greek immigrants, and from scattered communities across the state to enclaves in Detroit, Greek immigrants have retained and celebrated Greek culture.
Greece and the American Imagination
The Greek War of Independence: The 1821 Detroit Press Coverage
Going to the “Ksentia”: The Mass Migration, 1891–1921
Greek Communities in Michigan
Public Presentations of Ethnicity
The Man with the Branded Hand
American-Greek Society in Michigan, 2001 and Beyond
For Further Reference
Stavros K. Frangos is a Ph.D. candidate in social cultural anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington. He was the project coordinator for the 1981-82 NEH museum exhibition "The Greek-American Family: Continuity Through Change." This exhibit, which focused on the history of Greeks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, toured the United States for four years and is now on permanent display at the Greek Orthodox National Saint Photios Shrine in St. Augustine, Florida.