Summer Film Series: Our Greek Story: Antiquity, Modernity and Destiny

August 11 2019 | 3:00pm to August 12 2019 | 3:55pm

Detroit’s Greek-American community started developing in the late 19th century, and really started booming with the high amount of immigrants coming from Greece and Cyprus after 1912. A big symbol of this community is the area of Detroit known as “Greektown”, an area of about two blocks in Downtown Detroit that today contains Greek restaurants, a pastry shop, dance clubs, a Greek Orthodox Church, and a casino. During the first half of the 20th century, Greektown was a very private place for Greeks, which at one time contained coffee houses where men would be at whenever they weren’t at work. The life of the people in the Greek community also revolved very much around the church. The church was a place for Greek families to come together and support each other, while Greektown was more of a place for the men to meet and come together in the coffee houses, which later became more heterogeneous. The church became a place for the Greeks to come together not only in a spiritual way, but also in a familial way. 

The Greeks were discriminated against when they came to America, so the only ones they could rely on were each other. That is why there were so many community organizations within the Greek community. In a sense, Greeks had to support each other, or else they wouldn’t have been able to survive economically, mentally, or emotionally.

Running time: 60 minutes. Shown at the Detroit Historical Museum. Admission is FREE.