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Chinese American history
Websites related to the history of Chinese in North America
Curated by John Jung
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The China Connection in Greenville, Miss.

The China Connection in Greenville, Miss. | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
In a dandelion-laden plot of ground just off South Main Street rest the remnants of a dying culture. The headstones in this tiny cemetery…
John Jung's insight:

Chinese of the Mississippi Delta: a look at the past, present, and future of the unique communities of Chinese, almost all operating small family grocery stores, that are rapidly disappearing into history.

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Soft Film 軟性電影: Lily Yuen: Afro-Chinese Dance Maniac

Soft Film 軟性電影: Lily Yuen: Afro-Chinese Dance Maniac | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
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From Softfilm.blogspot.com

 

Lily Yuen grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and was famous during the 20s and 30s as a dancer, singer, and comedienne.. An article in The Afro-American (June 20, 1925) revealed that “Miss Lily Yuen, a tall, agile, brown girl... is typically Negro, and yet she is the daughter of a Chinese subject and of a colored woman.” Her father was an immigrant from China named Ton Yuen [also known as Joe Yuen] who settled down in Savannah, opened a laundry business, and married an African American woman [named Josephine, also known as Josie].

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New book unearths Canada's role in recruiting labourers from China for a secret role in World War I in Europe

New book unearths Canada's role in recruiting labourers from China for a secret role in World War I in Europe | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Forget Apple or Foxconn: the most secretive mass western outsourcing of jobs to China took place almost a century ago.
John Jung's insight:

In a just-published book titled Quarantined: Life and Death at William Head Station 1872-1959 (Heritage House), Peter Johnson describes Canada's key role in recruiting over 82,000 Chinese from Shandong province starting in 1917 to perform a range of battlefield services in Europe during WW I, including digging trenches, driving trucks, delivering and preparing food, medicines, and ammunition, and recovering bodies and unexploded shells. Although not trained to engage in combat, their manpower was badly needed to support the Allied troops against the Germans.

 

Their amazing story of the Chinese Labour Corps and their passage through Canada have been so well buried that they remain little known beyond academic circles. The Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society, which has pictures of some CLC members in its exhibit in the Chinese Cultural Centre complex in Vancouver’s Chinatown, is expanding its research on the labourers.

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West Volusia Historical Society

West Volusia Historical Society | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

Lue Gim Gong was a Chinese immigrant who came as a young boy to work in a shoe factory in North Adams, Massachusetts.  The fierce winters led him to move to DeLand, Florida, where his horticultural skills acqired in China were applied to developing new oranges.

 

"In 1911, as one of his outstanding accomplishments, he cross-pollinated a "Hart's Late" with a "Mediterranean Sweet" and produced a new orange, the "Lue Gim Gong" (better known as the Valencia orange) which was more resistant to cold.  


A detailed biography is at: http://paulwmarino.org/lue-gim-gong.html


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Mississippi Delta Chinese - Heritage

Mississippi Delta Chinese - Heritage | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Mississippi Delta Chinese - Heritage - Stories about the lives and contributions of Chinese grocers in the Mississippi Delta.
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The Chinese community in Mississippi extended across many miles of the Delta where they operated family-run grocery stores that served many of the cotton plantation workers for over a century.  Currently, as the early Chinese and their descendants have died or retired and moved to other regions of the country, they are mobilizing to perserve and record their history for the future.

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Chinese Cooking, Cantonese style | The Online Books Page

John Jung's insight:

Online resource to some early Cantonese cookbooks. The Chinese cook book by Shui Wong Chan (1917) not only has recipes and cooking techniques but a 1917 price list for Chinese ingredients and where to get them.

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Ann Wetherell and the "Flying Tigers: Chinese American Aviators in Oregon, 1918-1945" | KBOO

Ann Wetherell and the "Flying Tigers: Chinese American Aviators in Oregon, 1918-1945" | KBOO | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

Professor Ann Wetherell tells us why Portland had an unusually large number of Chinese-American pilots in the early 1900s. Professor Wetherell is the curator of “Flying Tigers: Chinese American Aviators in Oregon, 1918-1945″.

Interviewed and produced by Andrew Yeh.

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T. Scholze's curator insight, November 15, 2013 9:07 AM

Wow! Never heard of this group.

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Seniors' Videos

Seniors' Videos | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Head Tax Families Society of Canada – Seniors’ Stories Produced by Cynthia Lee and Daniel Lee Sub-titles by Eric Chan, Fanny Chan, Foon Yung Chang, Cynthia Lee, and Daniel Lee Editing by Cynthia Le...
John Jung's insight:

Although the dates and legal details of Chinese exclusion in Canada and the U. S. are not the same, the experiences of the immigrants from the late 19th century until the mid 20th century were very similar to those expressed in these accounts of Chinese who came to Canada.

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N.Y. Chinatown Family Finds Roots In Early Chinese Cinema

N.Y. Chinatown Family Finds Roots In Early Chinese Cinema | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
The Lee family, known for selling insurance, once helped bring Chinese-language films to the screen.
John Jung's insight:

Douglas Lee made a fascinating discovery recently that his grandfather Harold Lee had a movie company, which went out of business in 1930, after it produced about 30 films. In 1945, Harold Lee also transformed an English-language movie theater into the Silver Star Theater, one of the first to screen Chinese-language films from China and Hong Kong in New York's Chinatown.

 

For Douglas Lee, unearthing this lost family history in the movies has been reaffirming. "I felt like, 'OK, maybe it is in my blood,' because I've basically spent all of my career in film distribution," he says.

So far, Lee has tracked down one of the Great Wall Film Company's films online — a silent, black-and-white movie from 1928 called Poor Daddy.  This 71 minute melodrama has both Chinese and English subtitles, with a cliff-hanging scene near the end in the spirit of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton.

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Chinese Laundries in Massachusetts Oral History Project

Chinese Laundries in Massachusetts Oral History Project | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Chinese Laundries in Massachusetts Oral History Project
John Jung's insight:

An excellent in-depth set of oral histories of Chinese in Massachusetts from Chinese laundry families collected in the last few years by the Institute for Asian American Studies (IAAS), in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England.  Provides invaluable insider perspectives about the origins, operations, and family life experiences.

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No Place for Your Kind: Sites

No Place for Your Kind: Sites | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
No Place for Your Kind is a project documenting the locations of dozens of massacres, riots and other violence that was part of a campaign to expel all Chinese immigrants from the U.S. during the late 19th century.
John Jung's insight:

Photographer Tim Greyhavens visited the sites in the American west where  Chinese immigrants of the late 19th century suffered physical violence and destruction of living quarters as the means to achieve Chinese expulsion.  On the map, clicking on the place names will show you how those sites appear currently. 

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Chinese Americans in the Columbia Basin

Chinese Americans in the Columbia Basin | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

Chinese immigrants came to the Pacific Northwest in increasing numbers in the middle of the 19th century after the gold rush in California to engage in mining. Labor contractors recruited large numbers of Chinese to work on railroad construction and fisheries. Small Chinatowns developed to serve these immigrants.  Virulent anti-Chinese sentiment over the last half of the 19th century led to violent attacks on Chinese and destruction of their living quarters. Not until after W. W. II did attitudes toward Chinese improve and lead to new waves of Chinese immigration to the region.

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David K. Jordan: Chinese Personal Names & Titles

Guide to Chinese Naming Customs
John Jung's insight:

What's in a Chinese name?  Professor David K. Jordan's website is up to the challenge, and more.

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Chinese in Hollywood Book

This is theIndiegogo fundraising video for the "Chinese in Hollywood" book by Jenni Cho with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California 

John Jung's insight:

THe Indiegogo fundraiser was a "go" "go" and the book, Chinese in Hollywood by Jenni Cho which visually documented some of the major contributions of Chinese American to the movies has just been published!

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Rebuilding the California Southern Railroad: The Personal Account of Ah Quin, a Chinese Labor Contractor, 1884 | San Diego History Center

Rebuilding the California Southern Railroad: The Personal Account of Ah Quin, a Chinese Labor Contractor, 1884 | San Diego History Center | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Edited by Andrew Griego Graduate Division Winner, San Diego History Society 1979 Institute of History
John Jung's insight:

Thousands of Chinese immigrants came to North America in the late 19th century through recruitment by labor contractors, middle men who bridged the gap between white businessmen and Chinese laborers.  But historical accounts of Chinese immigrating rarely give much recognition of the role and operations of the labor contractor.


One notable example is this study of journals of Ah Quin,  a successful labor contractor in San Diego who was a practicing Chinese Christian who spoke English and one who gave up his long queue and adopted Western dress.    In 1880, with the news of the impending construction of the California Southern, Ah Quin was urged to come to San Diego to contract labor for the railroad.    Ah Quin's bilingual talents and business training made him an ideal selection for a labor contractor.  He had an extraordinary rise from house servant to merchant and contractor, and became in effect, 'mayor' of San Diego's Chinatown. 

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First Chinese-American woman to fly for military died in fiery crash - CBS News

First Chinese-American woman to fly for military died in fiery crash - CBS News | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Hazel Ying Lee ferried fighter planes during World War II, delivering them around the country for the war effort
John Jung's insight:

The first Chinese-American woman to fly for the military,  Hazel Ying Lee was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1912, at a time of few opportunities for Chinese-American women.  But she  joined the Chinese Flying Club of Portland and at a time when less than one percent of pilots in the United States were women, she began lessons.

 

 After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the creation of the Women Airforce Service Pilots women were recruited to take delivery of aircraft from the factories where they manufactured.  


She was one of about 130 women able to fly the pursuit airplanes, including the faster, more powerful P-47, P-51 and the P-63 Kingcobra.  

 

Chinese American Hazel Ying Lee was among 38 members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL ARCHIVES

 

In November 1944, Lee was delivering a P-63 from the Bell Aircraft factory at Niagara Falls, N.Y., to Great Falls, Mont. She was cleared to land just after 2 p.m., as a large number of P-63s approached at once, and in the confusion, her plane and another P-63 collided. She was pulled from a burning airplane, her flight jacket smoldering, and two days later, on Nov. 25, died from her injuries.

 

 

 

 

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.  Shares   Tweets   Stumble   EmailMore +
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What was Ah Bing's contribution to the Bing Cherry?

Not much information is available on Ah Bing, but his namesake remains ubiquitous: the Bing cherry, an American fruit favorite. The Bing cherry was fi...
John Jung's insight:

Ah Bing, a Chinese immigrant working as a foreman at the Lewelling family orchards in Oregon for more than three decades returned to visit family in China in 1889. But the Chinese Exclusion Act prevented Ah Bing from returning to the US.


Exactly what his role was in the development of the popular Bing Cherry that bears his name is not clear.

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Florida Memory - Farmer Eng and his chinese vegetables - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida Memory - Farmer Eng and his chinese vegetables - Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

Chinese farmers in Florida grew Chinese vegetables for sale to restaurants and grocery stores. This photograph refers to a  'Farmer Eng' in Ft. Lauderdale without any reference to a first name or name of his crops,

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Edmonton's Lost Laundries - Edmonton Heritage Council

Edmonton's Lost Laundries - Edmonton Heritage Council | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

The history of Chinese laundries was essentially the same in Canada as it was in the United States as illustrated in this account for the Canadian prairies.

 

"Edmonton’s first laundries were started in the 1890s by Chinese immigrant labourers who had worked on construction of the transcontinental railway line, completed in 1885.In the days before in-home washers and dryers and automated machinery, doing laundry was hard manual work. Water needed to be boiled, fabrics hand-scrubbed, shirts starched to be ironed smooth, and clothes hung to dry.

Facing racial intolerance and socio-economic pressures, Chinese immigrants had few other choices, and so they became laundrymen. Chinese brothers Chung Gee and Chung Yan opened their Edmonton laundry in 1892, in a wood frame building at what was then #428 Jasper Avenue."

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Paper Sons and Daughters

Paper Sons and Daughters | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Paper Sons and Daughters Individuals who immigrated to Canada as children by adopting the false identities of others at a time when Canada limited Chinese immigration, tell their very personal stor...
John Jung's insight:

Interviews in this excellent video are with Chinese Canadian descendents of 'Paper Sons and Daughters' but apply just as well to Chinese Americans.   These stories must be told, and saved. Younger, and future generations, would find these stories hard to imagine, given the vast improvement in overall attitudes toward Chinese today, but they need to know this history of the struggles and suffering of the past.

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The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo with Scott Seligman

Chinese in America endured abuse and discrimination in the late 19th century, but they had a leader and a fighter in Wong Chin Foo (1847--1898), whose story ...
John Jung's insight:

Video of talk by Scott Seligman,  author of "The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo,"  one of America's most famous Chinese—and earliest campaigners for racial equality. 


Event moderated by Andrew Hsiao and sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Museum for Chinese in America in New York, June 13, 2013. 

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The Lee Family of New York Chinatown Since 1888 | Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)

The Lee Family of New York Chinatown Since 1888 | Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

    Founded in 1888, Harold L. Lee and Sons, Inc. is a cornerstone of Chinatown.   Lee Kee Lo founded his company, Tai Lung (or Great Prosperity), with his two brothers on 31 Pell Street where today the family operates an insurance company.

    New York City's Museum of Chinese in America presents a selection of photographs and artifacts from the business, tracing its rise from a small foreign exchange business to national insurance brokerage.  

 

      The exhibit, which is from Oct. 23, 2013 to April 13, 2014 uses vintage photographs, original artifacts, and other ephemera from the family’s primary businesses in its 125 year history (curio shop, foreign currency exchange, travel agency, movie theater and insurance agency), to describe the unique journeys of the Lee family, their businesses and New York’s Chinatown. Through the Lee family history, the exhibit hopes to tell the story of how small businesses are part of an essential social and economic ecosystem that sustain communities like Chinatowns.

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Chinese laundries

Chinese laundries | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
“ Chinese laundries developed as a major occupation for the first wave of Chinese immigrants who came to the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. Laundries opened throughout the co”
Via NZ Chinese Genealogy
John Jung's insight:
Overview of the rise and decline of Chinese laundry business in America.
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Michel Ortiz's curator insight, October 24, 2013 10:33 PM

It's cool to learn about the lifelstyle that the Chinese immigrants had in the mid-1800's. Now instead of just believing the absurd stereotypes of Asian people owning laundrymats, now I know why people say things like that.

Kevin Kaatz's comment, October 27, 2013 11:03 PM
Remember to scoop material about the ancient world.
T. Scholze's curator insight, November 15, 2013 9:04 AM

Chinese laundries are often overlooked in U.S. History and immigration.

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rthk.hk 香港電台網站: Roots Old and New, Stories of Chinese Emigrants - North America

rthk.hk 香港電台網站: Roots Old and New, Stories of Chinese Emigrants - North America | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
For over a hundred and sixty years, Chinese had traveled across the ocean to help open up the west coast of the United States and Canada.
John Jung's insight:

The English translation, with subtitles. is available for the outstanding 5  episode documentary on Chinese emigrants to North America produced by RTHK in Hong Kong in 2012. My segments on Chinese laundries and Chinese restaurants filmed in Portland, Oregon, and southern California are in Episode 4, "Sweet and Sour" on the Chinese laundry.

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Chinese Family relationship titles

John Jung's insight:

Chinese have their individual or personal names but also a 'relationship' term that is much more precise than the terms in English. For example, the term 'uncle' in Chinese is different for older or younger brothers of your father.  

 

This site, although dealing with the Kwan genealogy, can be used by people with other surnames to better understand the structure and logic of Chinese kinship and naming customs,

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