Cultural Diversity in the Neighborhood

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Marco Navarro Dr. Benjamin Looker Urban Crisis ASTD 322 February 23, 2009 Cultural Diversity within the Neighborhood Sitting in a dark theatre, an audience begins to rustle in their seats with excitement, anxiously awaiting the start of the show. The lights dim and the anticipation are diminished as the lights come up, the set of a street side unveils, and the beat begins. In one instant, the audience is transported from a simple theatre to the lively street-side of the neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York. This production is the 2008 Tony-winning “Best Musical” In the Heights. Written and composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, the show combines hip-hop and rap music with a variety of dancing styles to portray the life in the…show more content…
In In the Heights, Usnavi celebrates his migrancy by proudly stating that he comes “from the greatest little place in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic” (Miranda). Usnavi takes pride for his country and flaunts to the audience about his heritage. In the past, this pride of the native land never would have occurred for those who boasted about being immigrants were often profiled and treated differently. This change is essential in understanding how immigrants are able to more easily accept American culture by allowing a piece of their own culture stay within them which helps identify the feeling of community within the neighborhood better. In Susan Dicker’s article about the transitional community within the Dominican culture in Washington Heights, Dicker argues that complete assimilation for all immigrants into American culture is highly unlikely which causes cultural diversity. Immigrants, who move to a different place with a pre-established sense of culture and identity, maintain an attitude to refute the new culture in order to maintain theirs (Dicker 13). People do not like to fully submit themselves to assimilation because in order to do so, they must give up their own culture and accept another that is not truly theirs. The cultural ties experienced at an early age are never easily lost and therefore remain within the population. Another reason why assimilation does not occur is that immigrants usually must learn a new language, which is difficult
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