Immigration to the U.S.

Dorothea Anagnostopoulos

Dorothea Anagnostopoulos speaks about her home in Greece where she, her parents and two siblings lived in a small house without electricity and everyone slept in one bedroom. Her father came from a large family with 9 brothers and all the brothers worked picking apples on their apple farm. Her father had a party store, but business was not good and he decided to move to the United States. His wife's sister lived in the United States and she helped her father to immigrate. The aunt introduced her father to people in Greektown. Her father washed dishes in Greektown restaurants in the nighttime and after obtaining a bicycle he sold ice cream on the street from his bicycle in the daytime. The rest of the family was able to immigrate after an investigation was made which included asking their neighbors in Greece if they were a good family. When Ms. Anagnostopoulos was eleven, she came by boat to New York and then by train to Detroit. Her father eventually opened a bakery in Greektown and then a grocery store. Her father and mother did not become citizens because they could not pass the written test. Other members of the family immigrated to Canada.

  • Date Interviewed: Thursday, 01 March 2012
  • Interviewer: Dorothea Pehrson
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #28

Pao-yu Chou

Pao-yu Chou

Dr. Pao-yu Ching Chou was born in Beijing, China, the oldest of three children. Though of royal descent (Qing dynasty), her father grew up an impoverished orphan; her mother was a very wealthy member of the Han majority. Dr. Chou's early life was influenced by the 1911 and 1949 revolutions in China, by the tension over finances between her parents, and by the rise of communism. After graduating first in her class with an economics degree, she received a scholarship to attend graduate school at Bryn Mawr. There she was struck by the gap between her expectations of the United States (as an ideal, democratic country of equality) and the realities exposed by the civil rights movement. Dr. Chou married, and continued to work while completing her PhD dissertation on inequities in milk production and government subsidies. For a long period, China's importance in her life was minimal, but now China and the rest of the world have become a major interest. She says, "I think Ive become a Marxist. I have to throw away everything I learned in graduate school...The hardest thing is to clean up bourgeois economics. Clean it up and relearn."

  • Date Interviewed: Monday, 28 June 2010
  • Interviewer: Dr. Dena Scher
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #26

Sally Chung

Sally Chung was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Her parents immigrated first and worked to bring Sally (age 3) and her siblings. She did not see her parents for nine years while she lived in Taiwan with her grandfather. When she came to the US, she struggled with the language and making friends. She worked in family restaurants. She met her husband when he was a customer at the restaurant in Dearborn. He returned to Taiwan after his student visa expired and they had a long distance relationship for three years. Eventually she and her husband opened their own restaurant.

  • Date Interviewed: Wednesday, 29 February 2012
  • Interviewer: Karlee Derrick
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #34

Izzat Khapoya

Izzat Khapoya

Izzat Khapoya was born in Tanzania and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. She was the seventh of eight children born of Indian parents who were members of a small Muslim sect called Ismailis. She enjoyed a privileged childhood thanks to her father's successful scrap metal business. In 1965, a few years after Kenya gained independence, Ms. Khapoya's father moved the family to London. From there she enrolled at Foothill College in Los Altos, California, and then Oregon State University. She met her future husband Vincent at Oregon State. Because her husband was African he was not accepted by everyone in her family; her father was especially opposed to the marriage. She and Vincent eventually moved to Detroit so he could take a job at Oakland University; it was from OU that Ms. Khapoya earned her clinical psychology degree.

  • Date Interviewed: Tuesday, 22 June 2010
  • Interviewer: Dr. Dena Scher
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #24

Vincent Khapoya

Vincent Khapoya

Dr. Khapoya talks about his early schooling, initiation rites and circumcision when he was a 14 year old boy in Kenya. In the interview, he recounts his fathers dedication to achieving an education for his children, including his sister who was not his sister, but his cousin. The continuity of tradition is noted in Dr. Khapoyas building a house for his mother, which is not his mothers house but his own house.

  • Date Interviewed: Monday, 23 October 2006
  • Interviewer: Dr. Dena Scher
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #7

Chukwunyere Okezie

Marygrove College professor Dr. Chukwunyere Okezie was one of 10 siblings in his family's compound in Nigeria. After Zaira University in Nigeria was closed, he moved at the age of 22 to the United States to earn his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Okezie married in 2001 and describes his growing family and academic life at Marygrove College.

  • Date Interviewed: Saturday, 21 November 2009
  • Interviewer: Virginia Ashworth
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #19

Mahar Shakarnhah

Mr. Shakarnah was born in Bethlehem in the West Bank. He started to cook at an early age and was working as a chef in the Middle East. Mahar came to the United Stated for a visit in 1997. He traveled the country and eventually settled in Michigan to continue working as a chef.

  • Date Interviewed: Sunday, 23 March 2008 
  • Interviewer: Imad Attallah
  • Marygrove Archives ARC-SP 0100 File #17

Detroit Journeys Collection

Detroit Journeys Collection

The Detroit Journeys Collection features interviews focusing on the experiences of individuals migrating within the U.S. or from outside the U.S. to Detroit, Michigan.

Experiences Collection

Experiences Collection

The Experiences Collection features two sections. The first section includes interviews with women from Bennett College who participated in the Woolworth's Lunch Counter civil rights demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina. The second section includes interviews with migrant workers from Homestead, Florida.

Become A Marygrove Student!

Apply Now!