Like Mother, Like Daughter

Josannah Birman by Josannah Birman

Three cultures. Two generations. One bond. This Shift video series delves into the lives of mothers who came to the United States from other countries and the daughters they have raised here. Hamsa Ramesha and I have interviewed three pairs of mothers and daughters about a generational gap that separates but more often binds them. Through in-depth interviews on family, career, culture and identity we learned that each pair shared core values. And what we found may surprise: their commonalities are a bridge.

immigration day-chicago feb 1986

Margaret Wieczorek and her husband fled Poland to build a better life for their daughter, Agatha. The couple opted not to live with their daughter in a heavily Polish area of Chicago, which has had the densest concentration of Poles outside of Warsaw. Instead, they bought a home in Beverly, a Far South Side Irish enclave. They assimilated quickly while still keeping Agatha connected to Polish culture. Every summer Agatha returned to Poland to visit family and practice speaking the language. Now she has earned her degree and is working at a Chicago architectural firm. Agatha is filled with hope about the future and Margaret couldn’t be more proud of the woman her daughter has become. Take a sneak peek at this extraordinary pair and check back for more on these mother-daughter relationships.

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