Judy Powell, An Ethnic History of Albion, 1978
One, Albion’s Ethnic Mix, 1
Two, The Germans, 6
Three, The Blacks, 15
Four, The Italians, 36
Five, The Russians, 46
Six, The Mexican-Americans, 57
Seven, Some Others; Conclusion, 69
In 1975 when communities across the nation were making plans for the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations, it occurred to me that after the big parade and the all-inspiring speeches wewould return to our daily tasks and forget what we were really celebrating – people. The real strength in this great nation is its uncanny good fortune to extract the best characteristics of many nations and melt them into one.
What could be, a more appropriate Bicentennial project than the ethnic history of a truly American city? Albion represents as true a microcosm of the “Melting Pot” as can be found anywhere in the world. The ethnic makeup of our community and the story of how, when and why each group arrived here is interesting. But much more intriguing are the facts that surround the evolution and assimilation of these “minority groups” into the mainstream of life in their new home. For some groups it took longer and they had to work harder; for some the process is not complete today-but we are learning.
The importance of this publication lies in its efforts to make most of us aware of what we are, where we came from, and what contributions our people have made; only with this knowledge can we be sure of who we are and where we are going. Only when we begin to understand these things about ourselves can we hope to understand and appreciate others. It is hoped that a sense of pride will flourish with every page-pride in our city, pride in our ethnic makeup and pride in each other.
If this publication could be utilized in each home as a silent mediator; if each time we criticized another group, we read about them; and if each time we started to hate, we tried to know and understand the hated, the results would be knowledge, understanding and pride in all our fellow citizens and in this truly American city, Read with an open mind and in the following pages you will begin to see America, the best of many nations, only in this instance the place is called Albion.
Charles W. Jones Mayor of Albion
Judy Powell, An Ethnic History of Albion, 1978. A Bi-Centennial Project by Judy Powell
Published by the City of Albion, Michigan