Thanksgiving with the Comerford’s

As I drove to Richmond to see my mother’s side of the family, for the first time in about seven years, I was a little nervous. Nervous because I hadn’t seen them in so long but also because there was a reason I hadn’t seen them in so long.  My mom does not particularly like many of the people on her side of the family and in some aspects, I agree. My mom’s side of the family have always been your stereotypical, white, wealthy, Christian, materialistic type of people. They were very traditional in every aspect. Once I got to my Aunt Raye’s house, I was greeted by cousins, aunts ,uncles, everyone. I immediately felt like I had to  act a certain way and talk a certain way and basically keep up the appearance that I was “one of them”.

I came to Richmond with an image of what I was going to see already etched into my mind. I expected to see a basic traditional Thanksgiving, women in the kitchen and the  men in the den watching football. However, after I was greeted at the door, I came into the kitchen (smelling all the awesomeness of Thanksgiving) to see that I was wrong. Although the men were still in the den watching football and there were women in the kitchen, there were also plenty of women who were watching football and during commercials all of the guys would run into the kitchen to check on the food they were assigned to cook. Before I had gotten there each person was given a dish to help prepare and once I was there I was given the job of making my grandmother’s famous (to me) sweet potato casserole.  I was surprised and happy to see everyone came together to help on a holiday that’s all about family.

In an article by Cindy Sutter titled “Do gender roles change during the holidays?”, she claims that even if a husband and wife usually equally  share household chores during the rest of the year, during the holidays “the division of labor somehow reverts back to the nuclear family of the ‘Mad Men’ era”.  This means that during the holidays the women supposedly become the stereotypical housewife, cooking for the men, while the men go off and do “men” things. This exact scenario is what I expected when I went to visit my family this Thanksgiving.  Although I cannot speak for everyone’s household, I feel as though in my family the roles people have in the  house are not based on gender but rather divided equally so that each person has a job to do to meet the goal at the end of the day. The goal of this day being to eat delicious food with family and loved ones.

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Source used:

Sutter, C. (2009, Nov 05). BRIEF: Do gender roles change during the holidays? McClatcher

Immigration Blog

During the mid-1800s many German immigrants came to St. Louis. Brewing beer quickly became a main staple for these immigrants and they introduced America to (the German) Budweiser, a lager beer. During this time, Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch, two German immigrants, came together to form Anheuser-Busch Association in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1876 Busch and his friend, Carl Conrad, made what is today known as Budweiser, an American lager, and it became more popular than anyone had imagined. Today Budweiser is one of the most popular beers in America.

This 2017 Super Bowl commercial, made by Anheuser-Busch, shows the struggles of a young German immigrant coming to America. This video portrays the intolerance immigrants faced in the 1800s and still face today. Titled “Born the Hard Way”, it is easy to hear the rude comments being yelled and the struggles faced by, who is suppose to be, Adolphus Busch as he comes to America. However, this video shows that “when nothing stops your dream” anything is possible.

The tone of the video in the beginning is very mean, you can tell just by listening to the background noises and people yelling.  You can tell the man is going through hardships by the short sentences in the video like “abandon ship” and the men yelling “you’re not welcome here” and “go home”. Then, towards the end, the background noises aren’t harsh or rude and the mood picks up as Busch’s struggles seem to end when he meets Eberhard Anheuser. You hear a man say “welcome to St. Louis, son” and another say “beer for my friend”, showing the positivity to following your dreams. The brand connects with the viewers by showing a man’s struggle because whether you’re from America or not, everyone faces struggles in life that they must overcome and that shows a commonality that people can relate to and respect.  This makes people feel sorry for the man getting stitches and being harassed by people in the streets which in turn makes them happy when they see him succeed. Finally, at the end, when the Budweiser logo appears,  one can hope that it could change someone’s mind about immigration because how can someone be so against immigration when one of the most “American” things came from immigrants?

Although there were more positive reactions to this video, there were of course bad ones as well. The video itself is captioned “This is the story of our founder’s ambitious journey to America in pursuit of his dream; to brew the King of Beers”. Many negative comments about immigrants and over 17,000 thumbs down. One comment said “looks like Budweiser is going on the list right next to Starbucks” and another “#notmybeer”, these comments show the hostility immigrants unfortunately still face today.

Given the history about the Anheuser-Busch company and although, in an article written about the video by Maria Godoy for NPR, the company has denied taking a political stance, I still think there is a very obvious bias about immigration. It seems clear that Anheuser-Busch welcomes immigrants as their company started with immigrants. I think that with this video Budweiser wants to show America that immigrants should be welcome because immigrants shape America just like the immigrants who created one of the most popular beers in America did.

 

Bibliography:

“For the Love of Lager: the History of Anheuser-Busch.” About, 14 Dec. 2016, www.anheuser-busch.com/about.html.

Godoy, Maria. “Budweiser’s Super Bowl Ad And The Great Debate Over What It Means To Be An American.” NPR, NPR, 3 Feb. 2017

 

 

 

Little Rock

In September of 1957, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional, nine African American students attempted to go to school at an all white high school, Little Rock Central High School. These student were faced with tremendous difficulty to even enter the school. Arkansas’ governor, Orval Faubus, decided that he was not going to let these students in, despite Eisenhower’s orders, and called in state troops to stop the students at the door. Eisenhower then called in federal troops in order to force the school to let the African American students in.

Today I want to discuss a unique piece of history located at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, one in a series of information cards telling about major historical events.

This is a collecting card made in 1996 giving details about President Eisenhower sending federal troops to Little Rock Central High School to help integrate the school. On the front of this card there is a picture of federal troops outside of Little Rock and on the back is a description of how Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock. I know that these information cards were made by a company called Grolier Incorporated and was donated to the museum by a man named Elmer J. Whiting III.

The main function of this collecting card was simply to inform readers about this major event of integrating Little Rock Central High School. I would assume people around the United States would have used this card to keep as a piece of history.

This card merely reminds us that the integration of schools, and really the integration of everything, was very difficult and unfair for African Americans. This card depicts that by explaining the events of Little Rock, from the schools calling in state troops to keep black students out, to white students yelling at them and trying to force them out to President Eisenhower having to bring in national troops to prevent anyone from not letting these students in. This card is significant because the integration of Little Rock is a major part of history and was a turning point for integrating schools all over the country.

 

Sources consulted:

“Eisenhower Sends Troops to Little Rock.” National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Museum of African American History and Culture, 2011.”

“National Museum of American History Adds Little Rock Nine Objects.” PR Newswire, Apr. 2016, pp. PR Newswire, Feb 4, 2016.

Wallace, David. “Orval Faubus: The Central Figure at Little Rock Central High School.” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, vol. 39, no. 4, 1980, pp. 314–329. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40024134.