Category: Stories

American Neighbors Defined by Their Cultural Diversity

The United States often calls itself a melting pot of society because numerous cultures, races, and ethnicities live together in relative harmony. If the trends continue as they are, not one ethnic group will constitute a substantial majority by 2045.

Although immigration reform is a political hot potato issue, some neighborhoods’ current cultural profile has already reached the goal of total diversity.

Harlem, N.Y.

Harlem is one of the most complex cultures in the United States. It was originally a Dutch village, transitioned to Italian and Jewish populations, and then became the place for African-American immigration. All of these perspectives continue to live with each other cohesively, although there have been some growing pains over the years with conflict and crime. 

San Francisco’s Chinatown

This community is the largest of its type outside of the Asian continent. It’s also the oldest one in the United States. Although it gets treated as a tourist attraction, the neighborhood’s history and culture are always on full display.

Jersey City, N.J.

With easy access to Manhattan, this city is divided into six wards. Each one has a unique perspective of life in the area, ranging from the mixed-use views of Journal Square to the working-class families in Greenville.

Germantown, Md.

You’re a short drive from the nation’s capital when living in this community, which is a series of six villages. It’s a place where young couples settle, families raise their children, and people look to establish a life for themselves. Numerous cultural hubs operate in the region, introducing everyone to its original settlers’ history and culture.

Paradise, Nevada

When people say that they’re going to Las Vegas, it would be more accurate to say that they are spending time in this community. It’s one of the largest unincorporated towns in the world, with a population above 200,000. People from all over the world come here to explore the attractions, try new things, and enjoy some time relaxing.

Each community is exploring culture and ethnicity in the U.S. in unique ways. These neighbors just have a head start.

A Brief History of Christmas in America

Although Christmas feels like a traditional holiday with embedded roots throughout human civilization, the interpretation of our celebrations today is relatively new. Did you know that the U.S. government didn’t recognize it as a federal holiday until 1870?

The Christmas season didn’t always celebrate the birth of Jesus. It used to be a time when the solstice was more important, indicating the progression of the year.

It wouldn’t be until the Roman Empire decided to mark the day of Jesus’ birth as a celebration in the fourth century that the holiday traditions would start. Religious leaders transformed a festival called Saturnalia, a time that honored the sun, to one that focused on Christianity. 

When the colonists came to the United States in the 17th century, the idea of celebrating Christ through decadence was seen as sinful.

Christmas was outlawed for early Americans. 

What Changed Christmas in the United States?

During the 1800s, several fictional Christmas stories became popular in the United States. Washington Irving was particularly famous for his fictitious portrayals of how the day was celebrated in England before society transformed to become more Puritan.

Many of those stories inspired American practices for the Christmas holiday.

German settlers came to the United States with the tradition of having evergreen trees and branches in their homes. These actions were originally meant to signify that life is possible, even during challenging times.

At the same time, Catholic immigrants brought over the tradition of keeping a small nativity scene in their homes.

By the time the American government decided to make Christmas a federal holiday, most families were already celebrating it anyway. Since then, it has grown into a spectacle of gifts, lighted trees, and hope for a peaceful new year.

Each family celebrates in their own way today. How do you mark this joyous time of the season?

Check Out These Noteworthy Young Entrepreneurs of America

Entrepreneurship has helped to make America what it is today. Between our many innovators who have helped transform our lives, to the freedoms we enjoy that allow for creativity and outspokenness, America has produced some of the most well recognized and successful thinkers, inventors, and business people.

You might be surprised to learn that 14% of the total working population in the U.S. are entrepreneurs who own and operate their own businesses. More interesting is that some of these folks were quite young when inspiration struck.

Below, we are going to look specifically at a few of these young entrepreneurs of America who found and followed their passion. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will realize that you can do it too!

EvanTube

Evan Moana of the EvanTube channel on Youtube started reviewing toys in the fourth grade with the help of his parents. Now at the age of 14, he is one of the youngest millionaires on the video sharing platform. The success of his channel has also meant success for his parents and sister who also operate their own Youtube channels. Basically, he and his family saw something that was missing from the platform and created a solution to help give honest and fair reviews for what toys they should be considering, then used that success to find even more success. Smart move, Moana family.

Catherine Cook

At the age of 15, Catherine Cook, with the help of her brother, Dave, 17, came up for the idea of an online platform where people could share their school yearbook online. After securing money from their eldest sibling, MyYearBook.com got off the ground and running. At its peak, it had more than 3 million members and generated millions in revenue. Later, the website merged with another platform and became MeetMe.com. The Cook’s tapped into people’s nostalgia and took advantage of the interconnectedness of the internet to reconnect thousands of long-lost classmates and make money while doing it.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is one of the best known young entrepreneurs. Facebook.com, an online social media platform, was created by Zuckerberg at 19, along with his friends in his dormitory at Cambridge university. Zuckerberg left college after his sophomore year to work on Facebook full-time, and later took the company public in 2012. In many ways, Facebook and Zuckerberg built upon what other social media platforms were trying, but they found a way to do it better. Today the company is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Kylie Jenner

In March of 2018, Forbes reported that Kylie Jenner was the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. Owed in large part to the success of her cosmetics line, Kylie Cosmetics, fame gained from the television show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and “Life of Kylie,” partnerships with major retail brands, her social media presences, and her own line of merchandise, Kylie has built a small business empire. In November of 2019, Kylie sold her a majority stake in her cosmetic line for $600 million; she will remain the face of the company moving forward. Kylie is a good example of how creating a successful social persona can be leveraged into success in business; make sure you know what your fans want, then go after that market.

Mikaila Ulmer

From the age of 11, Mikaila Ulmer wanted to share her family’s lemonade recipe that is made using flaxseed and honey. So she founded the Me & the Bees Lemonade company. Thanks to investments from Shark Tank and NFL players, the company has expanded and is now sold in Whole Foods Market, restaurants, and other locations. Now 14, Mikaila Ulmer remains the CEO of her company while also attending school, and finding time for family and friends. Many people have found success in selling their family recipes at local markets, but Mukaila shows that with the backing, you can turn your product into something that reaches people across the country.

If you want to take control of your life, entrepreneurship is the way to go. Not everyone is lucky to get that spark of inspiration at such a young age, but you shouldn’t give up. It has been suggested that the best time to start a business, if not in your youth, is later in life. Being older is great because you have more life experience, and you may have fewer family obligations when your kids are out of the house.

So don’t fret if you haven’t achieved what you have wanted quite yet. There is still time to strike out on your own and find success.