Rim of the New World

The South has changed dramatically since the 2000 Census with a large influx of immigrants. This series focuses on four stories in Atlanta, and highlights the tale of one Vietnamese student, Bich-Hien “Amy” Nguyen (right).

For more than 18 months, reporter Anne Hull of The Washington Post searched for the new America that is emerging from large-scale immigration. She found it in unique corners of a city long defined racially and ethnically in two tones: black and white. With more than 200,000 foreign-born people arriving in metropolitan Atlanta in the last decade of the 20th Century, Hull found this “new world in old places.”

Her four-part series, a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist in national reporting, followed the fortunes of young immigrants and others coming of age on the rim of the new world. Hull takes readers inside the sights and sounds of change. Perhaps most provocatively, Hull attacks the fear of offending that paralyzes many reporters, causing so much writing about race and ethnicity to turn bland in the name of sensitivity. She challenges the notion that reporters should avoid stories that play to racial or ethnic stereotypes and offers up steadfast reporting as a cure for those damaging, one-dimensional portrayals.

Part 1 of the series can be found in The Authentic Voice book and DVD. Read the rest of the series here.


Part 2: Dreaming Against the Odds

‘Today I Feel Like I Want to Do Something With My Life’

Nallely Ortiz, aware of the daunting odds for young Latinos in the South, tries to journey upstream from her family’s humble beginnings.

Part 3: Weight of a Family’s Hopes

Parents’ Dream Leaves Little Room for Being an Average American Teen

Amy Nguyen’s Vietnamese family wants her to focus on becoming a doctor. She wants more from her American life.

Part 4: Two Jobs and a Sense of Hope

A Young Man From Mali Discovers a Tough Life on a Time Clock

Adama Camara left the West African country of Mali and now finds himself a black man in the American South.

Transcript: Anne Hull Interview

Hull was online to take questions and comments on her four part series and the people she profiled. Read a transcript of her interview.

Resources: Rim of the New World

According to the 2000 census, 256,563 foreign-born people arrived in metropolitan Atlanta between 1990 and the end of the century, changing an historically white and black society. This series by reporter Anne Hull of The Washington Post tells four stories out of the thousands, focusing on immigrants who were coming of age on the rim of a new world.

Teacher’s Guide: Rim of the New World

DVD Discussion Questions: The Authentic Voice