Online Discussion

Discussion of "Displaced in the New South" video on Atlanta immigrants One online discussion thread invited students to share their reactions to a video documentary, Displaced in the New South, which depicts the experiences of recent immigrants to northwest Georgia, primarily from Asia and Latin America.

posted by Heather McDevitt on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:53 Subject: video images I would agree that GA is becoming advanced in many ways, culturally speaking. However, it seems as if many people learn about, talk about, etc. the diversity of us all, accepting others and living among others that are different then us, yet many people are unwilling to give up that deep down mistrust and misunderstanding of people who are different than themselves. It is great to be sympathetic to a cause, but unless people are willing to commit to change than not much will be accomplished.

posted by Clinton Stringer on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:53 Subject: the video discussion I was pretty ticked off at the obvious slant of the video. I am sure that problems do exist. I am certain that there are small-minded people who cannot accept "foreigners" in their neighborhoods, even though their own ancestry is probably traced back to a foreign country. The lack of fairness and balance made the people who are native to the south seem like ignorant, uneducated rubes. I resent that stereotype.

posted by Stacie Janecki on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:55 Subject: the video discussion I liked the striking difference between color and black and white. The one that still stands out in my mind is the woman who had the drawing of the International Village. She was outside under blue sky and green trees. She had a colorful outfit on and the drawing was in bright red. When the camera panned to the spokesperson for the immigrants, she was grainy in black and white against a black and white concrete wall. She looked like she was getting her mug shot taken.

posted by Deborah Kerr on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:55 Subject: Charming. . . Sarah [Breede, a student in the class], You comments are interesting and I am intrigued as well as to whether younger people would have the same type of views as the ones we saw. Unfortunately, I feel that some younger people are still influenced by the negative stereotypes that comes from those close to them. I think they can be changed however by other outside influences such as teachers and other adults that do not hold these negative views of other cultures. At least, I hope so anyway.

posted by Rosalyn-Sue Smith on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:57 Subject: Religion and Immigration I thought it was interesting the fact you [another classmate] pointed out: "Most people don't realize how similar religions are and the basic human values all religions have incorporated in their teachings." The number of wars that have been fought over this subject still amazes me. We have a perfect example today: The Balkans, and primarily Kosovo. I to, Heather, wish that people would realize how similar we are. My boyfriend has been gone for so long to the Balkans with the military that the days seem to run together sometimes. Keeping religion alive in the lives of these immigrants is pertinent, partly because I feel it provides them with a sense of belonging...a link to their culture? traditions? rituals? Coming into a new world, they need to be able to hang on to something that is familiar to them. Religious establishments provide a place for many immigrants to do just that...congregate...share hardships...extend their help to one another...and make the transition a bit easier.

posted by Lindsay Miller on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:59 Subject: Charming. . . upon watching the video and thinking about it later, i also wondered why we only saw white people over thirty. maybe there were white people over thirty that were interviewed and said positive things about the issue and did not come across to be prejudiced. and maybe their comments were left on the cutting room floor because their comments did not fit into the theme of "Displaced in GA."

posted by Instructor on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 14:59 Subject: the video discussion A very important issue to raise! As we said (tho too briefly) in class, this was definitely a "POV" documentary--that is, one that took a decided point of view or stand rather than trying to be objective. While there are some scenes we didn't have time to look at that make the white southerner look a lot better, the overall tone and stance of the film is as you describe. What would be some ways that the film-makers could have made the story more balanced? What content could have been added? What techniques could have been adjusted? how?

posted by Jessica Delk on Wed, Aug. 23, 2000, 15:03 Subject: the video discussion It was interesting that there was no narrator for this documentary. I believe the use of pictures, short interviews, and clips of film footage had a more powerful impact on the way the documentary affected the viewer. I am glad the stories of some of the immigrant families had a chance to be told.

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