Scene 10: The American Workplace Revisited

Facing Immigration from Illinois College, Immigration

CEPHAS: There are two reasons people come to the US—for security and a better economy. I no longer have to work at JBS. I now work at Reynold’s. And I’m not making the plastic. I’m an instructor. They hired me to interpret English to Africans who speak French. I explain to them how to work the machines, step by step. The English here, in America, is different from how I learned it. It set me back a little, but America is a land where people can advance. I started out as an average factory worker, but now I am a factory translator, a factory instructor. I was able to start low and get better jobs later. This is one reason why I came to America.

This scene originally appeared in Congolese Immigrant Stories, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois.

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Scene 11: The American Dream