In this exercise you will compose an essay based on your family’s history of migration, starting from the ancestral origin of our species in Africa in a process described by the authors of our textbook as the first round of globalization: Africanization. Your essay must also describe the background of both of your parents’ families. Regardless of your ethnic background or family origin, all people living in the Americas (North, Middle, and/or South America) are descendants of migrants or are recent migrants. Even the ancestors of Native American populations came to the Americas crossing the Behring Land bridge (today’s Behring Strait) more than 14,000 years-before-present. It is interesting to note that in Canada, these groups are known as “First Nations.”
Include references of your family’s [or your own] migration to the United States or to South Florida and the push or pull factors that may have influenced or contributed to their/your migration. You may describe your family’s originating country and culture, and how living in the United States has influenced or changed various tenets within that culture.
Your answer should reflect knowledge of the topic applying the concepts learned in our course, using your own words. Please note that working in teams is not allowed. You must explain your answer in NO less than 600 words and no more than 800 words. Essays that are less than 600 words in total will lose points. The word count does not include your name, PID, the title of your essay, Bibliography, or if you copy the question posed in your work.
You must also demonstrate knowledge of this topic by using key definitions related to the topic of this assignment: migration, push and pull factors, globalization, etc., and included in our course textbook related to the topic of migration, and others presented in class (i.e., Africanization). Your work must include at-least one additional reference (textbook or a popular news forum – i.e., The New York Times) that relates to your family’s history of migration. Include this reference in a separate page using only one of the following titles: Bibliography, Reference, or Works Cited; making a full citation of this/these source/s. Note that students are not allowed to use Wikipedia in any written assignment.
Any geographically-based essay must answer three broad questions: Where? Why? (and how?), and, So what? (or, in other words, why is this important?). For instance, you can answer the following questions:
- Where did your father’s family (or his last name) originate?
- Where did your mother’s family (or her last name) originated?
- Why did your father’s/mother’s family migrated from their homeland? [push – pull factors?]
- In answering to the “So what?” question you must use the information you have included in the first two sections (Where? and Why?); this is an overview of your family background.
- It is also important to mention that if you don’t know much about your family background, you can include references to your ethnicity, and their path to migration to this country we know today as U.S.A. You can also make reference to the origin of the last names of your parents.
Since this essay is based on the topic of migration and our textbook puts special emphasis on this theme in two chapters (# 3 and # 6), I suggest you to start your essay by introducing this topic and its key definitions (i.e., what is Africanization, migration, push and pull factors? how is this phenomenon connected to globalization?, etc.). It is very important that your essay mentions all aspects related to the “Africanization of the world”, as part of what De Blij and Muller call, “…the first great wave of globalization.” (2010: 282), and other aspects related to the major waves of human migration in the process of world colonization mentioned here.
- NOTE # 1: Your answer must be your own, original thoughts. If you plagiarize your thoughts from a website, journal, or any other source, not only you will be sad because you cannot write the small number of words of your own, but because you will also earn a failing grade in the course.
- NOTE # 2: You must format your work according to the required Technical Aspects described in the course syllabus:
- a) 12-point font (Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond, or Book Antiqua)
- one-inch margins all around
- numbered pages.
Any written assignment that does not include all the required technical aspects will receive a 10-point deduction in their grade.
de Blij, Harm J. and Peter O. Muller. 2010. Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts. 14th edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.