%s1 / %s2

Playlist: North Carolina

Compiled By: Eva Breneman

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
No text

Nuevo South

From The Center for Documentary Studies | 30:12

An un-narrated portrait of a Southern town in transition

Silercitybiewendla183_small It's sinking in among Americans that the nation's largest wave of immigration did not happen a century ago. It's happening now. About 35-million of us were born in other countries. That's one in eight residents of the United States. Immigrants come from all over the globe, but Latino immigration is remaking the country. And not just on the coasts and in the Southwest. Siler City, North Carolina used to be the kind of town where almost everyone, black and white, had roots going back a century or two. Characters on the Andy Griffith Show mentioned Siler City, and the actor who played Aunt Bee retired there because it reminded her of Mayberry. It was just about the last place a Spanish-speaking immigrant was likely to land. That started to change in the 1990's. Today, thanks to chicken processing jobs that no one else wants, Siler City is about half Latino. It's not unusual; North Carolina and other southeastern states have some of the fastest-growing Latino populations in the country. Many longtime residents of Siler City say they're not especially troubled by the fact that many Latino workers are undocumented. What does make some uneasy is the way this new population is transforming the racial and cultural flavor of their town. John Biewen and Tennessee Watson of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University produced this portrait of a town in transition...in the Nuevo South.