|About the Book|
E Pluribus Unum: out of many, one.Every day, we encounter this Latin phrase. It appears on our dollar bills and adorns the official Seal of the United States. But what does it mean? How does it represent our country? Our founding fathers adopted this phrase in 1872 to signify the union of many disparate states into one nation, but how does it represent our country today?In the current context of immigration and American identity, E Pluribus Unum still represents our ever-changing and ever-growing nation. We are a country comprised of many different cultures, ethnicities, languages, and beliefs. Though the diversity of our people is continually evolving, we are still united as one nation.At Oakland International High School, a public high school in Oakland for English Language Learners, this uniquely American diversity is always apparent. New students come in almost every week- for many of them, OIHS is their first school in the United States. Though we only have 300 students, they come from 31 countries and speak 29 languages other than English. Each of these students has a story. Not all of them have a way of communicating it.In Art class, 9th and 10th graders are asked to tell their immigration story in the form of a comic. For many of them, comics are also a new language that they have to learn. The comics shown here are a sampling of the many stories that have come out of this project. They are an attempt to answer the question, Who am I? and collectively, the question of Who are we? Through these stories, we gain insight into the motives, challenges and dreams of our newest immigrants as they become part of the complex fabric of America.