Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rose Silverman

b. 1892, Berdichev, Ukraine
To US: 1913
New York, N.Y.

"My Future Is in America"

Rose Silverman relates a complex, gritty, life-and-death struggle to ensure her future by emigrating to the United States against the wishes of her religious father, whom she feared, resented, and deeply respected. The author details the deadening poverty in which she came of age. Books became both her refuge and her rescue after she taught herself to read and write using a prayer book and a letter-writing manual she found at home. Her palpable desire for knowledge brought her into the sphere of the local intelligentsia, who introduced her to the labor movement to which she became a dedicated, life-long adherent. In the United States, Silverman partook of the vibrant political culture and social life of the immigrant milieu in New York City. After marriage, she continued to work as a seamstress and was proud to have educated her only son in the spirit of her political and spiritual home, the Workmen’s Circle.