How To Be American


Season 1

The first season of the Tenement Museum’s podcast, ‘How To Be American’, tells stories, new and old, about the evolution of American identity: from music, to food to pop culture.

S1 Ep1: I Would Cross a Million Borders

Join our host Brendan Murphy as he explores how two women, one during 20s and one just a few years ago, navigated the American immigration system and all its pitfalls.

S1, Ep2: Flat Dough With Stuff on Top

Ever wonder how pizza became New York City’s quintessential street food? Get ready to find out as we unveil pizza’s very own immigration story.


S1 Ep3: She Galvanized a Movement

In this episode we explored how immigrant women fought to gain the right to vote and are still fighting to get seats at the table.

S1 Ep4: Sing Like An American

Hundreds of sewing machines rattle and hiss—explore the industrial soundscape that shaped the American identities of young factory workers in 1911 with composer Julia Wolfe.


S1 Ep5: Why Can’t I Be Both?

Explore the idea of the “immigrant monolith” and uncover the diversity that exists within two distinct immigrant communities on the Lower East Side.

S1 Ep6: The Avatar for America

Dive deep with host Brendan Murphy into the history of comic books! Not only do we explore the origin story of the medium, we also talk about what superheroes can teach us about American society. We speak with historian Jonathan Gray and freelance writer Alex Simmons, as well as Kevin Wong, a former resident of 103 Orchard for whom comics were an incredibly formative part of his childhood.

Finished listening to Season 1? Check out Season 2!

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