Maria Hinojosa explores sociopolitical changes to the American population. The South experiences greater cultural shifts than the rest of the United States. The refugee citizenry of Clarkston, Georgia makes the town one of America's most diverse.
Formerly a Ku Klux Klan stronghold, Clarkston is now over 80% non-white. The town's first African-American mayor, Emanuel Ransom, recounts life as a black man in the American South of the 1960's.
Some feel the concentration of refugees in Clarkston threatens the American way of life. The housing market, unemployment rate, and poverty levels are struggling, yet foreign-born citizens make up nearly 85% of the town's business ownership.
Despite the diverse population of Clarkston, most of the city council is white. Recent immigrant groups are scared of political involvement due to persecution in their former countries. Citizenship classes and refugee-run campaigns provide support.
Clarkston businesses must change products to cater to the new refugee market. Both sides have to overcome fears. Foreign-born voters could make the difference in swing states. In future videos, Hinojosa explores naturalized citizens for city government and the plight of Guamanian veterans.
Credits: Mainstream, USA
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Clarkston, Georgia, one of America’s most diverse square miles, was designated as a refugee resettlement site in the 1980s and is now home to people from more than 40 different countries. Once a hub for the Ku Klux Klan, the city has gone from being 90 percent white to 82 percent non-white in just 30 years. Examine how Clarkston’s daily realities reflect wider demographic trends, and explore the collaborations and collisions that are occurring between the old and new South.
Length: 26 minutes
Copyright date: ©2014
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