The New Americans

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PBS Premiered Jan 01, 2004 Unknown

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  • Season 1 (7)
  • Episode 7

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 7 - 3/29/04

    José transfers to a minor league team in Georgia, where he finds romance with a local woman. The tech bubble bursts and Anjan loses his job just as Harshini learns she is pregnant. He struggles for months with temp work, fearing the loss of his coveted H-1B visa, but finally decides to return to India. Israel and Ngozi welcome a son, but Israel also loses a cherished brother. Barine's three jobs let her buy a large house, and watches her daughters graduate from high school. Naima and Hatem also buy a home, and contemplate having children. However, they face hardship and discrimination after 9/11. When Hatem's community center is torched by an arsonist, Naima questions her decision to move to the U.S. The Flores family is able to finally buy their own trailer, but sadly their daughter has to drop out of night school. The episode ends with an epilogue on what happened to the characters after filming ended.moreless
  • Episode 6

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 6 - 3/29/04

    Israel leaves his dye press job to work as a security guard in a department store, and Barine takes on an additional job selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Naima enjoys her new job at a Jewish day care center, and Hatem devotes more time to his civic work. Anjan faces an awkward adjustment to life in the U.S. After a few months, his wife Harshini arrives to live with him, but she is isolated and bored since his visa requirements forbid her from working. Their new apartment and other luxuries come at the cost of long hours at work for Anjan. Despite holding coveted greencards, the Flores family moves to California for agricultural work in order to be closer to Ventura's sister. This leaves their oldest daughter unable to attend high school, though she still takes night school classes after full days in the fields. The episode ends on a positive note, as Ricardo makes his major league debut with his favorite team, the Cleveland Indians.moreless
  • Episode 5

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 5 - 3/29/04

    In this episode, we are introduced to Anjan Bacchu, and Indian computer programmer with dreams of success in Silicon Valley. We see his life and wedding in Bangalore, and learn of his concerns for leaving his new bride and ailing father behind. He researches high-tech jobs online, shops for what he imagines he'll need in America, and receives blessings at his temple. The episode ends as he leaves for the United States. Naima finds work teaching Arabic to university students, while Hatem takes a leadership role in an Arab-American community organization. José still plays in the rookie league while Ricardo makes a name for himself at the Minor League All-Star game. Their former teammate, Ramon, is found not guilty, but he is dropped by the Dodgers and must return home. The Flores family receives their visas–including a visitor's visa for their grandfather–and sets off for Kansas. We see them settling into their new house, and witness the children's first day at their new school.moreless
  • Episode 4

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 4 - 3/29/04

    In the Nigerian story, Barine attends computer classes and dreams of opening her own restaurant. Due to upheavals in Nigerian politics, she is able to return home for a burial ceremony for her brother Ken Saro-Wiwa–five years after his murder. Ngozi and Israel connect to their family in Nigeria through a video letter, revealing to them that Ngozi is pregnant. There are homecomings for the Dominican baseball players as well, as they visit their families during the off-season. This episode also introduces us to the Flores family from Guanajuato, Mexico. The father found work at a large meat-packing plant in Garden City, Kansas, and wishes to bring his family to live with him after thirteen years apart. He returns to Mexico to collect them, but learns they must leave a beloved grandfather behind. The family travels to Juarez with all their possessions and limited funds, but face an uncertain future when they learn their one sponsor isn't sufficient for the whole family.moreless
  • Episode 3

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 3 - 3/29/04

    In the Dominican story, José and Ricardo join a rookie league team in Great Falls, Montana. They board with a local host family, and adjust to a new language and cuisine. Their stay in Great Falls is marred when another Dominican teammate–Ramon–is charged with raping a local girl. Though the players believe he is innocent, someone in the town responds with a pipe bomb at a host family's home. In the Nigerian story, Barine feels that her job in the kitchen of a Chicago hotel is beneath her abilities, and resents her loss of status. Her two young daughters adjust well to life in America and excel at high school, but bristle under their mother's traditional parenting style. Israel takes a job as a dye press operator, but is disheartened by discrimination from his co-workers and the police. In the Palestinian story, Naima and Hatem prepare for the wedding, Naima by shopping for dresses, Hatem by renovating his parent's basement to make a new apartment for them.moreless
  • Episode 2

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 2 - 3/29/04

    Hatem's growing interest in Palestinian issues is strengthened when he visits Naima's homeland. The two of them go to the embassy to obtain her visa, but the emotional impact of her move hits her as she packs. With her final college exam behind her, she, Hatem, and her mother travel to Chicago for the wedding. In the Dominican story, Ricardo gets good reviews from LaSorda and the coaches. He is joined at spring training by José–now a pitcher–and their youthful antics contrast with their hard work on the field. In the Nigerian story, Israel and his wife Ngozi find custodial work in a hotel. Ngozi studies to become a nurse's aid, but struggles with the class. They both discover health problems, and rarely get to spend time together. They also face mounting financial difficulties due in part to their family's expectations that they should send much of their salaries back to Benin.moreless
  • Episode 1

    Full Episode

    S 1 : Ep 1 - 3/29/04

    In a refugee camp in Benin, we meet chemical engineer Israel Nwidor living in a small tent with his family. A member of the Ogoni minority, he faced discrimination and violence in his homeland. We also meet Barine Wiwa-Lawani in the camp, a restauranteur trained in Europe and the sister of slain activist Ken Saru-Wiwa. After waiting years for refugee status, Israel and his family are finally relocated to Chicago. In the West Bank, we are introduced to Naima, a young woman with plans to move to Chicago to wed her fiancé, a first-generation Palestinian-American named Hatem. Their upcoming wedding will take her away her from her cherished family, but also from the hardships of life in the West Bank. Finally, we meet José Garcia and Ricardo Rodrigiez, two young Dominican baseball players with dreams of the major leagues. We follow them as they attend training camp in the Dominican Republic, and the episode ends with the Dodgers bringing Ricardo to the U.S. for training with Tommy LaSorda.moreless
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