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Celebrities Reveal Their Immigrant Stories In 6 Powerful Words

The creator of "Fresh Off the Boat" compiled hundreds of mini-memoirs to tell the story of immigrant America.

09/13/2017 00:17 EDT

ABC’s sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” based on Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name, has become a hit by telling the story of one immigrant family’s journey from Taiwan to America.

Now the show’s creator is sharing hundreds of immigrants’ stories in a new book, with each story told in six powerful words.

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Celebrity chef and author Eddie Huang, left, actress Mila Kunis, actor George Takei and astronaut José M. Hernández are among those who share their stories in "Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America.”

The book ― edited by Larry Smith, creator of the famed six-word memoir series ― sheds light on what it’s like to leave one’s country to start a new life in America. The book contains hundreds of stories from famous, notable and everyday immigrants who come from all around the world. It explores everything from their thoughts on “smelly” foods and masked accents to the sweat, courage and determination it took to begin anew in the United States.

As President Donald Trump works to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ― which would directly affect the lives of 790,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children ― perhaps it’s the perfect time to hear immigrants and first-generation Americans tell their own stories of how they found their identity in the U.S.

Below, see a selection of short memoirs from “Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America.” 

We exist because these stories exist. Nahnatchka Khan, creator of ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat" sitcom
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
America gonna Panda Express Chipotle everyone. Eddie Huang, celebrity chef and author of the memoir "Fresh Off the Boat"
Brad Barket via Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest
We Immigrants are America’s true super power. Junot Diaz, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"
Leigh Vogel via Getty Images
In 1941, I was a refugee. Madeleine Albright, America's first female secretary of state
Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images
Even after internment, still love America. George Takei, actor
Tommaso BoddiWireImage via Getty Images
A better life for our children. Mila Kunis, actress
Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images for CinemaCon
Is there fish sauce in Nebraska? Thakoon Panichgul, fashion designer
Ben Gabbe via Getty Images
Separated seven years, father a stranger. Jen Min Kuo
From migrant farmworker to NASA astronaut. José M. Hernández
Fernando Castillo/LatinContent via Getty Images
A father swims, a daughter soars. Wai Chim, author of "Freedom Swimmer"
Nobody is ever just a refugee. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and 2008 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient
Leigh Vogel via Getty Images
Texas was Mexico. Border crossed us. Maria Dolores Castillo
My mother: maid to mechanical engineer. Jennifer Na
Zeiger too ethnic! How about King? Larry King, iconic TV and radio host
Noel Vasquez via Getty Images
Learned all English and still foreign. Beau Sia, spoken-word poet
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic Inc. via Getty Images
Gained: American passport. Lost: Mother tongue. Grace Prasad
DREAMers are only allowed to dream. Ivy Teng Lei, undocumented immigrant and DACA recipient
We came, we saw, we stayed. Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images
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