MOHA Presentation IV

Presentation IV:  Romani Voices Defy Stereotyping

Abstract:  To help dispel prejudice and racial profiling in the United States, I will share stories from Hungarian Slovak Romanies in Michigan in the greater social/historical context. As an ‘under-represented’ marginalized community, Romanies have been silenced, censored and/or disrespected in communities throughout the world and specifically Michigan. Once we establish trust with the ‘other,’ he/she is no longer a member of a group but is a human just like each of us with a unique personality, social identity and history. Romanies who shared their own stories, not filtered through other voices, provide a different narrative and defy stereotypes from newspapers, police reports and laws dating back to the nineteenth century. The Hungarian Slovak Romanies, whose ancestors immigrated to the United States in the late 19th and up to the mid-20th century, have a long history as musicians who performed their traditional music and then jazz to adapt to the changing demands.

Q&A Session

Facilitated by: Cameron Michael Amin, Professor of History, University of Michigan-Dearborn and Brittany Fremion, Associate Professor of History, Central Michigan University.