With immigration reform in the headlines this week, BackStory takes a look at the flip side of the Ellis Island story: emigration. This week, we bring you the stories of Americans who have left the country in search of a better life elsewhere.
From the loyalists who fled revolutionary America, to the free blacks who sailed to Liberia in search of liberty (and a spot at the top of the racial hierarchy), we ask which groups have chosen to leave America, and what ideas and values they’ve taken with them. We meet a stowaway teenager who found the American Dream in the black artistic communities of 1930s Europe. And finally, a group of cotton farmers who moved to Uzbekistan in search of jobs — and the chance to build a communist state.