The People

( used with a plural verb ) the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc.

Corona on Dipity.

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Corona is “…perhaps the most ethnically mixed community in the world” as stated by New York’s Department of City Planning

“The United States is undergoing a ‘majority minority’ transition, with the historic European-ancestry white majority projected to fall beneath 50% of the population in the second half of the current century. Elmhurst-Corona, a neighborhood in Queens, NYC, was 98% white in 1960 but by 1990 had become intensely multiracial, multiethnic and multilingual, with neither African Americans, Asians, Latin Americans nor the remaining whites constituting a majority of the population.” –

Beginnings of Corona

            Like the rest of Queens, Corona started as an agricultural land. However, during the late 1800s-early 1900s, with the arrival of the LIRR, NYC subway system, and massive influx of European immigrants, population skyrocketed. The ethnic groups that settled in Corona included Germans, Swedes, Jews, African Americans, and of course, the Italians. They arrived after 1890, and mainly lived on Corona Ave and surrounding streets. Because of their lack of education, most were relatively poor and could only work in menial jobs. For example, the men worked as constructors building railroads and bridges, and farmers, reclaiming the meadows. Women generally stayed at home, while others worked in clothing factories located on Corona Ave.

World War II

Although the Italians were discriminated against during the early stages of mass immigration, many still valiantly served for the United States Army in World War II. Following the war, discrimination declined and there was a greater tolerance for Italians. Because of this, many were excited to go back home to seize economic opportunities that were now available to them. Italian pride was at an all time high since businesses that opened included delicatessens, markets, restaurants, pizza parlors, and pastry shops that sold authentic Italian goods.

Corona Today

Following the passing of the Hart-Cellar Act in 1965, which widened the flow of Latin American and Asian immigrants, many Spanish, particularly the Dominicans, arrived in Corona. While many Caucasians left because they couldn’t take the change of an increasingly Spanish population, others, such as the Italians, remained because of their strong social values in family, community, and justice. In fact, many Italians were living with African Americans harmoniously before the Civil Rights Movement.

Today, the Italians are the largest Caucasian group found in Corona. While the influence of them has certainly decreased in the late 20th Century, there are still some authentic Italian businesses such as restaurants and funeral homes. An overwhelming majority of businesses are owned by Hispanics. For example, many restaurants and bakeries have incorporated the rich Spanish language into their names, and have been serving authentic Latin American food since its beginnings. Other common businesses seen were groceries, or bodegas, and 99¢ stores, which seem to reflect the working class economy.

  1. Color-Full before Color Blind: The Emergence of Multiracial Neighborhood Politics in Queens, New York City
    Roger Sanjek
    American Anthropologist , New Series, Vol. 102, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), pp. 762-772
    Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
    Article Stable URL:

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