Immigrants are the bedrock of America. For actress Adepero Oduye, immigration also represents the triumph, strength, and diversity of America.
“I grew up in a community of immigrants,” the 12 Years A Slave actress said in a newly released video for Immigrant Heritage Month, exclusively shared with NewsOne. “My building was filled with immigrants from all different countries.”
In the video, Oduye recounts her parents’ triumphant journey from Nigeria to Nebraska and ultimately to New York, where she was born. The risk her father took to immigrate to America—with little knowledge of the language or culture—afforded Oduye the perseverance to find success in her career as a Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated actress. Oduye is one of the many Americans of African ancestry who have a long history of service and contributions to the United States.
“Sometimes we marvel at the fact that our parents left countries and came to this country not knowing anything about the culture, some not even the language, and what they’ve been able to build and create from that,” she said.
This June, the #IAmAnImmigrant campaign encourages all of us to explore our individual heritage and recognize our distinct and shared experiences. Welcome.us, a nonprofit celebrating diversity, launched the IAAI campaign in honor of Immigrant Heritage Month.
“My parents went through a lot and they sacrificed a lot for us. Sky is the limit because they provided that,” Oduye said.
“So when I see immigrant, when I think immigrant, I think strength, I think strong. I think triumph.”
To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.iamanimmigrant.com.