The Newest Americans

Albertine Combs, Junior Editor

The long tale of sacrifice and courage is not an unfamiliar tale in America’s foundation, as it was built from the lives of immigrants looking for a better life. In today’s world, “immigrants get it done” was quoted from the American musical Hamilton.

Currently, at the Museum on Main, there’s an exhibition of many portraits of today’s new US citizens called “The Newest Americans.”

The Museum on Main is located at 603 Main Street, Pleasanton, California. Admission is free, but donating is highly recommended. A mask is required upon entering. Upon entering the Museum, the exhibit stretches from the entrance hallway all the way down to a larger room to the left. 

The Newest American exhibit consists of headshots with an in-depth written piece on their life, and what it means to finally be an American citizen.

Many go into detail about the hardships they endured to get to America and to become a citizen. The exhibit includes a wide diversity of people, all who come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and heritages. 

The project was created by Sam Comen and Michael Estrin in response to the aftermath of the 2016 elections as their was political turmoil around building a wall, enacting Muslim bans, and carrying out mass deportation. 

Comen is a documentary photographer based in Los Angeles and his work is commissioned by national publications. Estrin is a novelist and journalist who also currently lives in Los Angeles. Both came together to photograph and interview the newest US citizens to share their stories with the world. 

The goal of the project was to raise awareness of current turmoil against immigration and to present a rich personal narrative on American identity. This exhibit includes both an English and Spanish translation.