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Chinese American Now
Websites dealing with contemporary issues and news relevant to Chinese America
Curated by John Jung
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Astoria's 'Garden of Surging Waves' set to open after winding journey

Astoria's 'Garden of Surging Waves' set to open after winding journey | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
It has taken nine years, $3 million -- a third of which was donated -- and at times, some thick skin to deal with the criticism of Astorians growing impatient. But today, most agree, this little park has been well worth the wait.
John Jung's insight:

 "Garden of Surging Waves" in Astoria, Oregon opened last week, Designed by Suenn Ho's, the site gives belated recognition to the pioneer Chinese who came in the late 1800s and helped develop the region even though they were mistreated badly. The project will be expanded and recognize the heritages of other ethnic groups in the region.

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Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States

Information about NARA facilities nationwide.
John Jung's insight:

This government resource is vital for anyone seeking immigration files related to Chinese immigrants during the Chinese Exclusion era (1910-1943),  In summary, the site has links to:

 

a brief history of the Federal agency that created or received the records; the Regional Archives that holds the records;the specific source (usually the local office of a Federal agency) of the records;description(s) of the records including, whenever possible, date span, quantity, system of arrangement, availability and explanation of finding aids, reference to related microfilm publications, and other information useful to researchers.
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Washington State Historical Society: Middle School Curriculum on Chinese Exclusion

Washington State Historical Society: Middle School Curriculum on Chinese Exclusion | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

This curriculum asks students to examine specific legislation and determine the stakeholders and parties involved, using the 1885 expulsion of Chinese people in Tacoma as a case study. Students are asked to define values and issues related to the events of the late 1880’s in their examination of this time period and its influence on Northwest communities. They will then examine the relevance of this subject to modern constitutional issues through classroom discourse and a position paper on a contemporary topic or a local manifestation of this Act.

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2006 WWAAC Mini Documentary - A Passage to the Deep South - YouTube

The Passage to the Deep South" -- the history and struggles of Asian Americans coming to the state of Georgia. Produced and voiced by Sachi Koto.
John Jung's insight:

Overview of the history of the Asian American community in Georgia, with emphasis on the pan Asian growth in Atlanta.

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The future of Old Town Chinatown: Asian-American community and supporters hope influx of cash can preserve history

The future of Old Town Chinatown: Asian-American community and supporters hope influx of cash can preserve history | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Portland leaders want to inject millions into the central city's oldest and most challenged neighborhood. What will that mean for Old Town Chinatown's historic character?
John Jung's insight:

The historic Chinatown of Portland, like most other Chinatowns of America, is facing an uncertain future.  A 5 year development plan aims to revive Portland's Chinatown to attract more tourism and better housing. The proposal covers only new building, which is meeting some resistance as there is no funding for preservation of historic structures..

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My China Roots | Find your roots & ancestral village

My China Roots | Find your roots & ancestral village | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Find your roots & ancestral village
John Jung's insight:
An impressive site about the Chinese diaspora to many parts of the world, not just North America and Southeast Asia. Check the 48 "slides" on the home page of this site. Disclaimer: The site also provides fee-based genealogical services which I am neither for or against and I get no finder's fees.
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Descendants of Chinese RailRoad Workers

ontVimeo is the home for high-quality videos and the people who love them.

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An overview of ongoing research at Stanford University Railroad Worker descendant interviews project to hear their stories about the Chinese who helped build the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s.

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Oakland Chinatown (Community Voices)

Oakland Chinatown (Community Voices) | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
By William Gee Wong “How to break through the stone wall of silence that concealed the mysteries of Oakland Chinatown and at the same time steer clear of the hatchets of the highbinder tongs – this...
John Jung's insight:
A look at the past, present, and future of the Chinatown of Oakland, California through the eyes of retired journalist, William Gee Wong, who grew up there. His analysis applies generally to many Chinatowns across the country.
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The China Connection in Greenville, Miss.

The China Connection in Greenville, Miss. | Chinese American Now | 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:
".....in the Delta almost every little town had at least one Chinese grocery. Usually, the first storekeeper would establish a beachhead, build up clientele, then send for relatives, who would often live in cramped quarters upstairs at the store before eventually striking out on their own. It was not long before they were being assimilated. But they still stood out in school for their hard work and strong study habits. Many a Delta high school has seen any number of Chinese valedictorians and salutatorians. Sometimes, they shared their culture with non-Chinese. In Marks, people would come from all over the Delta to an annual lavish fireworks display sponsored by a Chinese family to celebrate the Chinese New year. Most Greenville Chinese can trace their roots back to the province of Canton in southern China. The older Chinese can still speak their native Cantonese tongue, but most mainly speak English with a side of Southern. Sometimes, their Chinese comes out in a drawl as well.

Being Southerners, the Chinese of Greenville are full of stories about their people and their ways. But the Chinese of Greenville, as elsewhere in the Delta, have not always been seen as equals. Chinese children were not allowed into the public school system until 1945."

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New York exhibition celebrates awakening of Asian-American identity in the 1970s

New York exhibition celebrates awakening of Asian-American identity in the 1970s | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
A New York exhibition celebrates the flowering of Asian-American identityin the 1970s, writes Richard James Havis
John Jung's insight:

"The times, they were a-changing," as Bob Dylan proclaimed,  back in the 70s... for many oppressed groups, and Chinese and other Asian Americans seized the opportunity to become more actively involved in promoting social change.

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Chinese Canadian Women (1923-1967) Project

Chinese Canadian Women (1923-1967) Project | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

"Chinese Canadian Women, 1923-1967: Inspiration - Innovation - Ingenuity explores a compelling chapter of Canadian history through the experiences of Chinese Canadian women. This website brings together thirty-three new oral history interviews and over 1,000 historical photographs and records."

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Socio-Economic Polarization in the Chinatown Community by Susan Yung

Socio-Economic Polarization in the Chinatown Community by Susan Yung | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Socio-Economic Polarization in the Chinatown Community: How the Rich Reap their Wealth from the Poor Or Spirit Killers the winter wind sits in the living room so we huddle in the kitchen in our win...
John Jung's insight:

A thought-provoking no holds barred critical look at content, emphasis, and goals and physical space of the new (2009) Museum of Chinese in America in New York's Chinatown.

 

Susan L. Yung, a community activist, poet, and photographer questions which aspects of history deserve the most attention in the Museum. (Note: The second part of this long essay discusses the high rates of suicide among Asian American women, an important issue, but a separate topic from her critique of MOCA)

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The Dalles Chinatown Site, The Dalles | Restore Oregon

The Dalles Chinatown Site, The Dalles | Restore Oregon | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:

Efforts to preserve another endangered historic Chinatown:

The Dalles Urban Renewal Agency owns the Chinatown site with the exception of the Chew Kee and Company Building. In 2012, the Urban Renewal Agency entered into an agreement with a private developer to construct a hotel and conference center on the site, but designs and a plan for interpreting Chinatown’s history have yet to be shared. The Bloch, Miller and Company Building is not protected by the local preservation ordinance and adequate interpretation of archaeological resources hinges on the will of project stakeholders.

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Chinese - Encyclopedia of Arkansas

John Jung's insight:

A brief history of Chinese on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River shows a similar background and experience to that of the more numerous Chinese in Mississippi along the delta.  

 

"Life for the Chinese grocery store owners (in Arkansas) was a simple one. In the early days, many families lived where they worked, sharing a back room as living quarters while they tended the store in the front. Their mostly African-American clientele and location in mostly black neighborhoods made them a target of racial discrimination. Some of the bachelors who married local women became targets for discrimination on both sides. However, unlike in other states in the South such as Mississippi, the Chinese in Arkansas enjoyed some privileges that were not afforded to other minorities. For example, some Chinese families sent their children to all-white schools and attended all-white church services. By this time, the Chinese had come to understand the power dynamics of the region, and many families presented themselves in a way to preserve this racial hierarchy."

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Brooklyn's Chinese Pioneers by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal Spring 2014

Brooklyn's Chinese Pioneers by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal Spring 2014 | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Hardworking Fujianese immigrants use the borough as a launching pad to the middle class.
John Jung's insight:

The earliest Chinese immigrants to the U. S. came from Guangdong province but since the late 1960s, thousands of mostly poor and sometimes undocumented immigrants from the province of Fujian have crammed themselves into dorm-like quarters, working brutally long hours waiting tables, washing dishes, and cleaning hotel rooms—and sending their Chinese-speaking children to the city’s elite public schools and on to various universities. What started with a few hundred Fujianese pioneers a few decades ago is now New York City’s most populous Chinatown in Sunset Park section of Brooklyn—considerably larger than Manhattan’s and bigger even than Flushing’s Sunset Park bustles with Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and stores..
Despite their poverty, and other adverse living situation, their children seem to be achieving success academically.... This article tries to explain how cultural factors make this possible.

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Di Zi Gui Web Page 弟子规网页,简体 - Tsoidug Website, Simplified Chinese

Di Zi Gui Web Page 弟子规网页,简体 - Tsoidug Website, Simplified Chinese | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
John Jung's insight:
A look at ancient principles of conduct that guided Chinese culture for centuries. Is it still relevant today? This site explains "Di Zi Gui" and maintains: "If left unarmed with some accurate knowledge of Chinese culture such as that provided by Di Zi Gui, Chinese children will grow up to be ashamed of their heritage, of their parents and eventually of themselves. Then they won't have the self esteem or inner strength necessary to become good, smart and capable persons. The Chinese cultural heritage is more than just kungfu, Chinese food, Chinese dress, or Chinese paintings. Even more important, Chinese culture also includes an intellectual heritage thousands of years old, an intellectual heritage of thought, philosophy, norms and mores, some important aspects of which are quite unique. It is exactly this intellectual part of Chinese culture that is most important to Chinese identity, pride and self-confidence."
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What are we going to do about Vancouver’s Chinatown?

What are we going to do about Vancouver’s Chinatown? | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
What are we going to do about Vancouver’s Chinatown?  Remembering Chinatown’s soul I spent many days and weekends in Vancouver’s Chinatown helping my dad at his office.  He worked in the building o...
John Jung's insight:

A lament about the deplorable state of Vancouver's historic Pender Street Chinatown and a bold outline of ways to preserve, protect, and improve it to make it a viable community again.

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'Sweet and Sour" Q & A After Book Talk by John Jung in Chicago, 2011 - YouTube

John Jung, author of 'Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants.' discusses Chinese restaurant history and related topics raised during Q & A period...
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Q & A following 2011 talk on history of Chinese family restaurants at Chinese American Museum of Chicago focuses on current, and future, prospects for this iconic Chinese business.

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Exhibit follows Asian pioneers in the Northwest

Exhibit follows Asian pioneers in the Northwest | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
By Andrew Hamlin
Northwest Asian Weekly

caption id= align=alignnone width=500 Chinese American boys gather around a game of mah jong in 1938 at the Airport Way immigration station. (Photo courtesy
John Jung's insight:

Wing Luke Museum in Seattle has a current exhibition, GRIT,  through Oct. 19, 2014, that traces the footsteps of Asian Americans in the Pacific Northwest with photographs and oral histories

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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:CHINESE

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:CHINESE | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
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A brief history of Chinese in Cleveland, Ohio.

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AIISF - Immigrant Voices

AIISF - Immigrant Voices | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration.
John Jung's insight:

This section of the website containing stories about immigrants, mostly from China, written by descendants is one of the outstanding features of this site dedicated to the preservation of the Angel Island Immigration Station where the majority of early Chinese immigrants were detained and screened before allowed to enter.


These stories  illustrate the "perseverance, courage and tenacity of immigrants whose belief in the American ideals of freedom and justice was unshakable despite hardships and discrimination.'

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San Francisco's Chinatown Funeral Band

San Francisco's Chinatown Funeral Band | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Lost and Found Sound looks at the Green Street Mortuary Band from San Francisco's Chinatown.
John Jung's insight:

History of Chinatown funeral parades in S. F. and the role of the Green Street Mortuary Band which plays as it leads a procession through the neighborhood with the coffin as well as a large picture of the deceased. "People come out to see if it is someone they knew. The parade often stops at places familiar to the dead so that their spirits can make one last visit. Drums and cymbals scare away ghosts."

 

Here is a short video of a Green St. Mortuary Band funeral procession through S. F. Chinatown posted on YouTube:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXCwHGqxVLU

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Chinese Eatery Names, by the Numbers

Chinese Eatery Names, by the Numbers | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
by Frank Shyong INTRODUCTION It is not too bold of an assumption to say we have all eaten at a Chinese restaurant named Golden Dragon or Hunan Garden at some point in our lives. The English names o...
John Jung's insight:

An examination, that is not claimed to be scientific,  of the most popular 'concepts' represented in the names of Chinese restaurants found in a database covering three decades.  Speculations about why many of the names are repetitious. One historical comparison that was included showed that "Oriental" showed a drop since the 1990s.

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Amazon.com: The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America) eBook: Ellen D. Wu: Books

The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)   by Professor Ellen D. Wu.  

John Jung's insight:

A recently published book examining the origins of the 'model minority' view of Japanese and Chinese Americans during the struggle for civil rights of the 50s and 60s when the focus of race relations in America was directed toward a black and white society.

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A test for one Chinese province: How to educate an influx of US-born children

A test for one Chinese province: How to educate an influx of US-born children | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
At least 10,000 children born in the US to Chinese parents have been sent back to Fujian to be raised. But because they maintain US citizenship, they're ineligible for China's public schools.
John Jung's insight:

How the times have changed. A century ago, Chinese immigrants came to America, and despite exclusion, found a way to start families and gain education for their children's success. Now, the impoverished Chinese who immigrated from Fuijan province in the last quarter of the 20th century, often by being smuggled in by snakeheads to whom they paid exorbitant fees, are trying to send their children back to Fujian to be educated but facing barriers.  

 

What will be the long term consequences for Chinese in America? Will these children return to the U. S. eventually and how will they affect the composition of Chinese America?

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