Lately my life has been swamped with some very personal responsibilities, resulting in my blog remaining loveless. Sorry blog.
In an attempt to maintain my blog, share some of myself with my readers, and try and become re-inspired to write some shit that has been stewing in my mind for the past few years, I’ve decided to post an oral history I wrote in college. This was a very personal project for me because it was on my mother and because one of my mentors worked very closely with me on it.
Yuhl Sheem- Introduction
The post-1965 wave of Korean immigrants are generally characterized as a college-educated and middle-class group. The American media's representation of the Korean population in this country consistently ignores the complex socioeconomic makeup of that population by defining the whole after looking at a select, economically prosperous portion of that population. New York magazine called Koreans New York City’s “super immigrants” and “most productive community”. The article cites that seven hundred Korean-owned businesses opened in 1994, but failed to mention that another nine hundred closed down. Ironically, the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising rendered these “super immigrants” as deserving of the punishment they suffered. When Koreans in America are a “model minority,” they are entrepreneurial and educated; when they are “foreigners”, they are clannish and selfish.
This paper is based on an oral history of my mother. My mother never finished high school and is a working class woman who immigrated to the United States in the late 1970s. She is neither a model minority nor is she a cliquish woman. She lives on the outskirts of an English-speaking society and sits apart from her middle class Korean immigrant counterparts. This paper explores how she lives her life in America as a woman who lives in a peripheral space of a marginalized group.