A Hungarian Boy from Youngstown, a story by Ricardo Muniz

Hungarian Boy from Youngstown by Ricardo Muniz with James Cancel 04 copy

This editorial, « A Hungarian Boy from Youngstown », is a tribute to James and his Hungarian and Romanian roots and to all immigrants who have sacrificed their lives in 12-hour shifts in factories in order to provide their children with a better life. James Cancel, the model, is the son of immigrant parents from Hungary who came to Youngstown because others from their family had come before them. Little did they know the city was nearly dead when they got there. The logo I created is a modern rendition of the old Youngstown Sheet & Tube logo, the steel mill for which Youngstown, Ohio, was famous and the steel mill that drew tens of thousands of immigrants to Ohio to work in the sweatshops and steel factories.

For nearly 75 years, that factory provided work to immigrants from all over Eastern Europe, the Irish, the Italian and Puerto Ricans from the Caribbean. In the mid-70s, Youngstown Sheet & Tube closed and the Youngstown economy was devastated. Within 20 years, the city had lost 75 percent of its population and had nearly gone bankrupt. For a time in the 90s, Youngstown’s major trade was drugs and it was the murder capital in the United States.

Now, art galleries have begun to spring up in abandoned buildings and a beer company has set up shop in the old railroad station. Slowly but surely, the City of Youngstown is trying to be reborn.


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