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Our Plural History | Springfield, MA
For more than a century, Springfield's North End neighborhood has served as a first home for some of the city's various immigrant communities. The contemporary Puerto Rican flavor of the North End is apparent in this banner depicting traditional Carnival masks and the coquí, Puerto Rico's unofficial mascot.
Photo by Richard Norman Ph.D.

Table of Contents

Recent Arrivals

Following the Second World War, immigration to the United States continued. This new wave of immigrants often differed from earlier waves of immigration in terms of languages, customs, and cultural traditions. Whereas during the industrialization period the majority of newcomers hailed from Europe, these newer immigrants come to America's shores from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet bloc. Despite these demographic and cultural differences, the newer immigrants' reasons for coming to the United States have been comparable. Many have come in search of new opportunities and freedoms, others as refugees of wars. >More

The Civil Rights Movement in Springfield
The vibrant African-American community in Springfield was instrumental in the fight against segregation and racial discrimination and in favor of justice and equality for all Americans.

The Hmong Story Cloth
The Asian population in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts is varied and growing. The presence of Cambodians, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Koreans, Japanese, Thais, Chinese, East Indians, Laotians and other ethnicities is apparent in schools and workplaces, community centers and houses of worship, festivals and other cultural activities.

Puerto Rican Communities in the Valley
Puerto Rican migrants have increasingly been attracted to the smaller industrial cities and farm lands of New England. The cities of Springfield and Holyoke continue to be a destination for migrant communities.

Immigration from Russia and the Soviet Union: the End of the Cold War
There are over 2,880,000 people of Russian descent in the United States today, and people from Russia and the former Soviet Union comprise one of the largest immigrant groups in western Massachusetts.