Summer Film Series: Our Polish Story: Family, Faith and Fortitude

August 10 2019 | 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Like most ethnic groups, immigrating Poles were attracted to Detroit by the prospect of work—first in the building of railroads and the paving of streets, and next, in the city's rapidly expanding manufacturing industries. As Detroit grew as an industrial center, most of the Poles who arrived were rural, unskilled in trade, and began their lives in the New World working at the lowest level of employment. Thus the Pole became the true backbone of Detroit industry. Polish women gravitated toward domestic service and in farm work, later to the cigar factories, the match factories, to hotels and restaurants, and to tailoring establishments.

While loyal and devoted to the land of their adoption, the Poles of Detroit, as elsewhere, clung tenaciously to the long and revered Catholic cultural heritage which they had brought with them. Their Polish American organizations, press, churches, and other institutions, served as the bulwarks of the old culture, as well as aids to their adjustment by easy steps to the American way of life.

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