At the beginning of the term, Teacher called the roll and asked each child her lineage. The answers were typical.
"I'm Polish-American. My father was born in Warsaw."
"Irish-American. Me fayther and mither were born in County Cork."
When Nolan was called, Francie answered proudly: "I'm an American."
"I know you're American," said the easily exasperated teacher. "But what's your nationality?"
"American!" insisted Francie even more proudly.
"Will you tell me what your parents are or do I have to send you to the principal?"
"My parents are American. They were born in Brooklyn."
All the children turned around to look at a little girl whose parents had not come from the old country. And when Teacher said, "Brooklyn? Hm. I guess that makes you American, all right," Francie was proud and happy. How wonderful was Brooklyn, she thought, when just being born there automatically made you an American!
On the form, I listed my race as simply "American". I asked D if I should do the same for him, and he said hell yes.