Chinese American history
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Finding Samuel Lowe — From Harlem to China — The Movie ·

Finding Samuel Lowe — From Harlem to China — The Movie · | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
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The remarkable story of how retired NBC Universal executive Paula Williams Madison researched her Black-Chinese heritage and organized a family reunion between her  Chinese-Jamaican relatives and her Chinese relatives in Guangdong, China.  Her Chinese grandfather, Samuel Lowe, worked in Jamaica, and married a Jamaican woman before later marrying a second wife, a Chinese bride 'sent' over from China to Jamaica. After Lowe returned to China, his Jamaican daughter raised their children in New York.

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Chinese American history
Websites related to the history of Chinese in North America
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Chow Chop Suey - Food and the Chinese American Journey | Columbia University Press

Chow Chop Suey - Food and the Chinese American Journey | Columbia University Press | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Anne Mendelson. Chinese food first became popular in America under the shadow of violence against Chinese aliens, a despised racial minority ineligible for United States citizenship. The founding of late-nineteenth-c
John Jung's insight:
A unique and thorough examination of the origins and development of Chinese restaurant food in the U. S. (and Canada, for that matter)by food historian Anne Mendelsohn.. She starts with a detailed history of Chinese immigrants in the U. S. starting from the mid 19th century to provide a context for understanding the significance of Chinese restaurant food and how it is prepared, using "chop suey" as the foundation and emphasizing the cooking method (chow, which came to be awkwardly translated as stir-fry) rather than the dish, chop suey, which in reality is not a specific dish with a set of fixed ingredients as providers of recipes imply.
Contrary to the rise of popularity of Chinese-Americanized food over the past century, it is important to note that it was derided and rejected initially because of its unfamiliar ingredients, cooking method, and unpleasant smell, at least to westerners. With the rapidly growing Chinese, and other Asian populations in many cities, newer Chinese restaurateurs are no longer finding it necessary to tailor their cooking to suit nonAsian tastes as in the past. Cuisines from many regions of China have arrived to compete with the original Cantonese dishes.
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Dorothy Toy Fong

Meet Dorothy Toy Fong, one of the best tap dancers in history and a role model for Asian Americans.
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Talk about Chinese American pioneers in entertainment! 

Dorothy Toy and Paul Wing faced many barriers but succeeded for many years as a tap dancing duo.

Filmmaker Rick Quan has produced a documentary, Dancing Through Life: The Dorothy Toy Story, celebrating the career of the now over 100 year old Dorothy Toy that will be shown at the Chicago American Museum of Chicago on April 21, 2018. 
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TEXAS CHINESE | The Handbook of Texas Online| 

TEXAS CHINESE | The Handbook of Texas Online|  | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
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Overview of the history of Chinese in Texas starting around 1870 when 250 Chinese who had worked on the transcontinental railroad that was completed in 1869 came to work on the Houston and Central Texas railroad.
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“Better Than a Lazy American Husband”

“Better Than a Lazy American Husband” | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
How the exploitation of Chinese men in nineteenth-century America was naturalized.
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A section of Andrew Urban's new 2018 important book," Brokering Servitude" that details the process by which Chinese immigrants, especially boys, were selected for domestic service (houseboy) by people with privilege such as diplomats, missionaries, and the wealthy.  Chinese servants were prized because it was believed they would be more reliable and capable than the Irish, the other main source other than freed slaves.  Chinese domestic servants gained certain advantages, being under the sponsorship of white people with money, status, and influence that let them get an immigration pass even during the Chinese Exclusion era. They also had more opportunity to learn English and American customs, living in a white household, that helped them considerable  later when they left domestic service.

It came as a big surprise to me that I learned (elsewhere) that in 1870, the number of Chinese domestics was third highest, exceeding the number of laundrymen.
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Black Irish Band- "Men of Iron" (Tribute to the Chinese Railroad Worker)

An original song writen by Black Irish Band member Patrick Michael Karnahan in honor of the Chinese Americans that built the Central Pacific Railroad. Ban
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An original song  by Black Irish Band member Patrick Michael Karnahan in honor of the Chinese immigrants who labored on the Central Pacific Railroad, but have often been overlooked for their contribution to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.  Historians state that a Chinese worker died for every mile that was built.   

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A Chronicle of the China Trade. The Papers of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877 - Harvard Business School

A Chronicle of the China Trade. The Papers of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877 - Harvard Business School | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
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Invaluable resource for understanding the context in mid 19th century Canton that existed at the time of the Chinese diaspora to many parts of the world.

 “Business is too important and interesting not to be chronicled somehow,” Albert Heard wrote.  He was referring to his family’s firm, Augustine Heard & Co., which reigned among the largest American trading houses in China in the mid-nineteenth century. The company was active from 1840 to 1877 under the direction of Augustine Heard and his nephews John, Augustine II, Albert, and George Heard. 
The Heard papers, one of the largest collections of business records relating to the nineteenth-century China trade, present a look into momentous events concerning Sino-Western relations as well as the day-to-day activities of American traders in the treaty ports.
The topics in the list of contents are all accessible online.
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Mass Capture

Mass Capture | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
This is the home page's excerpt
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"This project examines an extraordinary collection of Chinese Canadian head tax certificates known as CI 9s in order to understand the relationship between surveillance and the production of non-citizens in Canada. The CI 9s constitute the first mass use of identification photography in Canada and tracked the movements of thousands of Chinese migrants in the early half of the twentieth century.
Mass Capture is a project that analyzes the construction of non-citizens in Canada through the exploration of Chinese immigrants documented between 1910 and 1953 under the “Chinese Immigration 9” (CI 9) certificates."
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Chinatown's Suffragist, Pastor, and Community Organizer

Chinatown's Suffragist, Pastor, and Community Organizer | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Why Mabel Lee left behind great expectations in China for her American immigrant community.
John Jung's insight:
In the 1920s, the Chinese American population had relatively few Christians in the U. S.  Mabel Lee, daughter of Lee To, the pastor at the  First Chinese Baptist Church in New York City, assumed his role upon his early and unexpected death in 1924. A graduate of Columbia University with a PhD in economic history in 1921, she was a community leader, and suffragist, for more than 40 years and led this church which still exists.

Under her leadership, she helped make the Chinese mission a self-supporting and independent congregation by growing its membership and raising support from the wider community.
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美洲华人历史博物馆

美洲华人历史博物馆 | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
A young Chinese blogger visited the U.S. and described what she learned about the history of Chinese in America during her visit to the Museum of Chinese in America in NYC.A young Chinese blogger visited the U.S. and described what she learned about the history of Chinese in America during her visit to the Museum of Chinese in America in NYC.
John Jung's insight:
Interesting to see the impressions of a  young Chinese woman who visited the U.S. in 2014  shared on a post on her travel blog about the history of Chinese in America that she saw on  her visit to the Museum of Chinese in America in NYC.
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Chinese American Eyes

Chinese American Eyes | Chinese American history | Scoop.it

Famous, forgotten, well-known, and obscure visual artists of Chinese descent in the United States     (above graphic about the Boxer rebellion was done in 1900 for the Chinese Weekly Herald newspaper by Sun Yow Pang)

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An informative and unique encyclopedic database of "famous, forgotten, well-known, and obscure visual artists of Chinese descent in the US compiled diligently by Alex Jay.  He includes many original biographical documents such as immigration and census records as well as graphics of the artist.

Right hand column lists chronologically from 1861, followed by artist names in alphabetical order.
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Why Chinese People Came To The United States | AJ+

There are now more than 4 million Chinese people living in the United States. Surprisingly, most of these immigrants came in the last few decades, startin
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A brief overview of the history of Chinese immigration in the U. S. that explains the different patterns and motivations for Chinese to leave China at different times. 
Part of a series produced and narrated by Dolli Li. for AJ+, the online documentary series for Al Jazeera Media Network.
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Of Race and Reconciliation: Tacoma and the Chinese

KBTC presents and hour long program called, Of Race and Reconciliation. It chronicles the Chinese experience in America around the year 1885. That was th
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In the last quarter of the 19th century, Chinese immigrant laborers were subjected to extreme racism and violence in many parts of the American west, and one of the most egregious places was in Tacoma, Washington.  In 1885, a few years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Law in 1882, the citizens of Tacoma gave the Chinese a month to leave the town. One night a mob forced all remaining Chinese to leave Tacoma by  train to Portland. The areas where the Chinese had lived were burned to the ground.  This approach served as a model for other cities to follow, and it was referred to as the  "Tacoma Method."

Several cities that had expelled Chinese during this period have created events and monuments to promote 'reconciliation' between these communities and the Chinese.
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New York Chinatown's Historic Public School 23

In 1984 the New York Chinatown History Project took up residence in four rooms of 70 Mulberry Street. The museum was on the second floor; its gallery space designed by the NYC architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams. 70 Mulberry Street was formerly Public School 23. The Norman Romanesque Revival building was constructed in 1892, and was one of the first school buildings designed by C.B.J. Snyder, a noted architect and Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education from 1891 to 1923. Schools designed by Snyder in other parts of the city have been landmarked (see the Census listing for P.S. 64/ El Bohio). Until it closed in 1976, many of Chinatown's children attended school at P.S. 23. The New York Chinatown History Project, which was subsequently named the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA), hosted an exhibit called What Did You Learn In School Today? P.S. 23, 1893-1976.
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The Last Temple (1972) China Alley, Hanford, CA.

The Last Temple was made at CHINA ALLEY in Hanford, California, in 1972, by Producer Maurice Chuck and his SAN FRANCISCO JOURNAL, Reported by Kathryn Fong
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A tour of the taoist temple in China Alley in Hanford in the heart of the central California farmland where there were once 600 Chinese, many railroad workers for So Pacific RR, but  only a handful of Chinese there in 1972 when this film was made
with Richard Wing, the cook for General George Marshall in WWII and later started his world renown 'chinois' restaurant, Imperial Dynasty.
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The Rise and Fall of Reno's Chinatown

The Rise and Fall of Reno's Chinatown | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
On Nov. 2, 1908, Reno’s Chinese residents watched as laborers armed with sledgehammers, and axes descended on their community to raze all structures.
John Jung's insight:
Chinese were in Reno as early as the 1850s when the Comstock Silver lode was discovered. When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869,  Chinese railroad workers had to find other work, and some settled in Reno forming a Chinatown with hand laundries, cafes, gambling halls, or domestic work.
White fears of cheap Chinese labor in work on an irrigation canal led to violence. 
In 1908, Chinatown was leveled as it was regarded as a moral and physical hovel due to presence of opium smoking and prostitution.
Eventually, the Chinatown made a small comeback as attitutdes toward Chinese improved in the mid-20th century.
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Teaching the Past in the Present

Teaching the Past in the Present | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
As an historian I sometimes find myself on the defensive about what history is and what historians do. Especially when I teach the introductory US history survey to unenthusiastic undergrads, I find a depth of misunderstanding about what history is and is not. We don't just discover, convey, and memorize facts. To the contrary, most…
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An excellent discussion of how to teach history, using 2 examples of alternative ways of "framing" or contextualizing historical events, a book by Yin about Coolies , illustrated by Chris Soentpiet (Puffin Books, 2001) and My Uncle Martin’s Words for America by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Abrams, 2011) two very different books, with a few features in common.

 "Coolies begins with a young Chinese American boy and his grandmother in the present. They’re celebrating the Ching Ming festival in which they honor their ancestors. The first illustration shows them in their living room. The large television, their contemporary clothing and furniture all mark the scene as contemporary. Yet their ethnic identity is also marked by the Chinese-style statues, decorative flourishes, and ceremonial shrine on the table. The grandmother presents the remainder of the story as a tale of “our ancestors,” so that the boy will not forget. The book ends with the pair completing their ceremony of paying respect to their ancestors."

 "My Uncle Martin’s Words for America" also begins with a child, Martin Luther King’s niece, who narrates the story. The first two pages of her narrative anchor the reader in contemporary African American achievements, before moving back in time to describe King’s activism. “Before America elected its first African American president…before African Americans became astronauts, or Hollywood directors, or billionaires, America was a very different place.” I really like this approach, since it does not foreground the violence or disrespect of the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras. 

Second, both books name specific past injustices and describe concrete responses." In Coolies, the brothers Shek and Wong join with other workers to protest poor work conditions and pay. Though the protest is unsuccessful, the pair perseveres in their loyalty to each other and their family back in China. My Uncle Martin’s Words for America describes several key protests in which King participated, and presents them in chronological order. The book draws a connection between public protest and a key legislative or judicial change that it informed, and it uses those stories to highlight King’s “Words”: love, nonviolence, justice, freedom, brotherhood, and equality. 

 In 1869 newspaper photographers widely circulated images of the celebration of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Point, Utah. Notably, despite the arduous labor performed by Chinese workers to complete the railroad, and the fact that many of them who died in the process, most images from the time omit their presence. 

 Coolies redresses this visual absence. Soentpiet’s beautiful painting reimagines this scene from the perspective of Wong and Shek, who share in the pride in this accomplishment. The image literally reframes and recenters the story of the transcontinental railroad, so that it is about the people whose labor was crucial to the project, and their bonds of family and affection.
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Being Chinese… by Albert Lee | Chinese Canadian Stories

Being Chinese… by Albert Lee | Chinese Canadian Stories | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
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Not Chinese American, but Chinese Canadian, and even then about the Atlantic side of Canada, but wonderful account by Albert Lee about earliest Chinese in Halifax and the maritime regime, skillfully blending in personal documents and stories about his ancestors with a more general account of Chinese Canadian history. The story is similar to that for Chinese in many American cities.

See also this account of his family history written for a general audience of Canadians
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Black Irish Band- Eight Irish Workers

The Black Irish Band perform an original song about the day the Central Pacific Railroad, in 1869, laid 10-miles of track. The song ballad was written  by band member Patrick Michael Karnahan. James Dean Neslon sings lead about the hand-picked Irish crew of rail layers that worked alongside the brave and strong Chinese workers.

John Jung's insight:
On April 28, 1869, a few days and a few miles short of the historic completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, 8 Irish and scores of Chinese workers laid 10 miles of track in a single day, a feat unmatched since.

The  Black Irish Band, which performs Celtic and Americana folk music, paid tribute in song, to their accomplishment.

For documentation of this historic achievement:
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How the ‘Home of Overseas Chinese’ Is Memorializing Emigrants

How the ‘Home of Overseas Chinese’ Is Memorializing Emigrants | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Taishan County is honoring the memories of emigrants by restoring the pier from which they began their journeys and building a museum for ‘silver letters.’
John Jung's insight:
"In its heyday, the Haikou Pier witnessed the exodus of tens of thousands of Taishan County residents. Local instability, overpopulation, and a dearth of economic opportunities incentivized Taishanese to seek economic opportunities abroad. The Haikou Pier, built in 1853, ferried Taishanese to larger ports, including Hong Kong, from which they would continue their journeys abroad. By 1901, around 200,000 Taishanese people — then one-quarter of the city’s population — resided abroad, with 60 percent living in North America."

"Since the 1770s, Taishan has relied heavily on remittances for its development. Qiaokan, or magazines for Chinese expatriates, maintained connections between overseas villagers and their hometowns. The landscape of Taishan’s villages is inscribed with traces of overseas Chinese wealth: water towers, electric generators, concrete driveways, ceremonial pagodas, and traditional archways. Most recognizable are the region’s diaolou, or “watchtower houses,” built as a fusion of Western and Chinese architectural styles to protect against bandits." 

"According to the U.N. nomination, overseas Chinese began sending yinxin around 1860, with the oldest extant yinxin dated 1883. Over 160,000 documents have been preserved. In addition to renovating the Haikou Pier, the Duanfen government will erect a two-story, 512-square-meter “Silver Letter Museum” to memorialize the correspondences."

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REO Uncovers Tie to Omaha's Former Chinatown - Restoration Exchange Omaha | REO

REO Uncovers Tie to Omaha's Former Chinatown - Restoration Exchange Omaha | REO | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
  Over a year ago, Restoration Exchange was asked to write a National Register nomination for 1518 Cass Street in Omaha. The building, located on the north side of Cass between 15th and 16th streets, is approximately half a mile north-northeast of downtown Omaha. The property was in a choice location between two electric streetcar …
John Jung's insight:
Omaha,NE once had a Chinatown with a On Leong Tong, or association hall, between the late 1930s until the late 1950s. Unlike branches in large cities such as New York and Chicago, the Omaha On Leong was not involved in bloody "tong wars" with other tongs such as the rival Hip Sing Tong.
The Omaha branch occupied the second story of a building originally housing a non-Chinese laundry.

see aso:
http://www.omaha.com/living/former-hub-for-omaha-s-early-chinese-community-is-recognized/article_926c76ae-5ee4-5cb0-9d14-e2ff0fe96d08.html
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The View of Chinese railroad workers in America - As Seen in China

The View of Chinese railroad workers in America - As Seen in China | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Chinese railroad workers played a crucial part in establishing a modern USA. Yet their endeavour and contribution have long been buried and hidden throughout the history. In this edition of Ink&Quill, we tap into some of those long-forgotten memories and push aside a cobweb of history to find out the truth.
John Jung's insight:
Historians, archeologists, and other scholars  in the U.S. have made significant discoveries about the role of Chinese immigrants in completing the western branch of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. 
Less is known about how scholars in China view this major achievement of Chinese emigrants to the U.S. (and Canada) to work on railroad building. This link provides one such view, and provides some information and viewpoints that were unfamiliar to me.
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The Blue, the Gray and the Chinese

The Blue, the Gray and the Chinese | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
American Civil War Participants of Chinese Descent
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Fascinating stories of Chinese in the US who fought, on both sides, in the American Civil War. The National Park Service published a book, Asians and Pacific Islanders and the Civl War, in 2015, which is featured, but the blogger, Alex Jay, includes detailed accounts of the experiences of other Chinese men who fought in the war.
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Rediscovered: An Eloquent Chinese Voice Against Exclusion | Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center NOW

Rediscovered: An Eloquent Chinese Voice Against Exclusion | Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center NOW | Chinese American history | Scoop.it
Chinese-American voices were rarely heard during the national debate over Chinese exclusion that swept the United States in the 1870s and early 1880s. It w
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Wong Ar Chong, a 33 year old Boston merchant was an "unsung hero" who articulated an eloquent set of arguments agains the exclusion of Chinese immigrants sent to a sympathetic abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison..  His pleas did not succeed, and in 1882, led to Senator James G. Blaine, (Maine, R) the Chinese ExclusionAct was passed.
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British Chinese Heritage Project

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John Jung's insight:
NOT about Chinese in the U. S. but this oral history project in Birmingham, England about the British Chinese community bears strong similarity to the issues that Chinese faced in the U.S. and other countries over the past 150+ years.oral history project in Birmingham, England about the British Chinese community bears strong similarity to the issues that Chinese faced in the U.S. and other countries over the past 150+ years.

There is an excellent video on this page,.



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Flying Tigers: The Story Of The 14th Air Force – Video Made In 1945

This is a 1945 historical film called Flying Tigers: The Story Of The 14th Air Force. It is the amazing story of a group of americans in a strange land.
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 detailed 1945 footage of the background and significant contribution of the fabled "Flying Tigers" (a volunteer force of American pilots) toward defeating the Japanese in control of the Burma Road, which was critical for China's survival in WW II.  Gripping footage of aerial combat and suffering of refugees.
"The most interesting part of this video to us is the work that went in to getting the planes, bombs, fuel, and other stuff to China by land. It was multiple rail roads, ox carts, guys carrying stuff with sticks, amazing. The video is long but it is one that had us hanging on every word."
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