Two pants. Two T-shirts. The socks and shoes he wore. His life savings of one thousand dollars. That is what Sukhvir brought to America at the age of twenty-three. Together, he and his wife started from nothing. They struggled in blue-collar jobs and poured their souls into two American-born children. They were Generation Zero.
For most of her life, Sabreet searched to find meaning in her family's immigration story. She read books about extraordinary immigrants' triumphs and everyday tales of hardship, but the stories of her family-and other Generation Zero families-often felt invisible.
If you're a first- or second-generation American, you know how hard it is to understand your reality. But you also know there is a great deal of beauty and strength to come from an immigrant family. Maybe your working-class family sacrificed. Maybe you've strived to accomplish your parents' abandoned dreams. Or maybe you're living a hyphenated identity, trying to make sense of the unique experiences that make you American. You are not alone.