Cultural Diversity in the Neighborhood Essay

1955 Words Feb 24th, 2011 8 Pages
Marco Navarro
Dr. Benjamin Looker
Urban Crisis ASTD 322
February 23, 2009
Cultural Diversity within the Neighborhood Sitting in a dark theatre, an audience begins to rustle in their seats with excitement, anxiously awaiting the start of the show. The lights dim and the anticipation are diminished as the lights come up, the set of a street side unveils, and the beat begins. In one instant, the audience is transported from a simple theatre to the lively street-side of the neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York. This production is the 2008 Tony-winning “Best Musical” In the Heights. Written and composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, the show combines hip-hop and rap music with a variety of dancing styles to portray the life in the
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Since those times, the neighborhood has gone through multiple transitions of racial dominance Jews, Greeks, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans. (Fernandez) During the 1980s, Washington Heights underwent its largest culture change, becoming largely populated by immigrants from the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans brought their culture to Manhattan as a “Little Dominican Republic” was created. The Heights soon brought on the reputation as being “the centre of New York’s crack cocaine trade” which made it a dangerous place to live (Dicker 9). This reputation remained until the late 1990s when urban renewal projects were initiated to improve the image and decrease the amount of violence within the neighborhood. As time progressed, the Heights maintained a cultural identity of Dominican as over 50 percent of the population was Dominican. Today, Washington Heights is losing this cultural identity and life of the city that it has had for decades as rents continue to increase and force economic struggles upon the community. By understanding the culture that exists within American society today, it is more easily understood what it means to assimilate. Since the discovery of the nation, the United States has been a melting pot of all races and ethnicities as immigrants migrate all over the world to live in this country. People in American society rarely identify themselves as purely American. They often identify themselves as African-American,

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