Students’ Work to Share Immigrant Stories Featured on German Radio

Cora Granata

Cora Granata, history professor.

Cal State Fullerton students who participated in the March 12 Long Table event in Los Angeles with history professor Cora Granata were featured in the international press recently.

Deutschlandradio — Germany’s Public Radio — attended the event hosted by the University’s Center for Oral and Public History and the LA-Berlin Sister City Partnership to hear students’ story presentations of immigration and flight.

More than 100 people attended the meal at a long row of folding tables in the tradition of the “Lange Tafel” event that began more than 10 years ago by Berlin-based artist Isabella Mamatis.

The German radio story (excerpted below) highlights the work of senior history majors Isabel Serrano and Michael Salazar. Serrano shared the story of a man who immigrated from Mexico.

“It was really interesting to see how difficult it was for him to speak about his parents and hardship in Mexico,” Serrano said. “He kept jumping to how he came to America. For him that was connected with happiness, while Mexico was tied to sadness and a struggle to survive.”

Serrano and Salazar try to talk with as many Long Table guests as possible this afternoon. They both agree — what they have learned here is more interesting than anything they can find on the Internet or in books.

Salazar: “You can see their reaction, you can laugh and cry with them and see their facial expressions.  It’s much more personal.”

Serrano: “It opened my eyes to the fact that we never have serious conversations about our pasts. We might hear a few stories now and then, but we hardly ever stop to ask about what happened, or why did you come here?"

Read the story here, in German.

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