The Great Famine Voices Roadshow was welcomed to the Parkway Central Library of Philadelphia by Adam Leo Feldman, Library Coordinator of the Central Library.
Adam Feldman also shared his own family stories of his Jewish and Irish ancestry and upbringing in Philadelphia. In his own words: The Irish Famine story connects with the stories of so many immigrants and migrants to Philadelphia, since foundation to contemporary days as we integrate new refugees into Philadelphia.
I think that one of the messages from the Great Famine Voices Roadshow in Philadelphia that I was very pleased to see come out was that many institutions in the United States built by the Irish, such as the contemporary Irish Immigration Center, serves not only Irish émigrés who have come in the past generation or two, but also Philadelphia’s enormously large group of immigrants from every continent. It is nice to see memory serve as a reminder to do what is right.
The Great Famine Voices Roadshow also met with Nicola Bell from the Irish Immigration Center in Philadelphia.
The Irish in Philadelphia, Then and Now
As Nicola Bell explained: We see other people at the clinic who are not necessarily Irish. They can come from certain Latino countries in south and central America, and often their conditions are very different. You can almost say that it is like a parallel that is somewhat similar to why Irish Famine victims were fleeing Ireland. They want safety for their families. Hence they come here. The same you could say for parts of Mexico and the like where people are fleeing extreme poverty. They will do whatever it takes, like what the Famine victims did, to preserve their families and their own lives, and try and create a better future for themselves.