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Chinatown - Salinas

Chinatown - Salinas | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Chinatown is a six-block 29-acre urban infill site that is located in the center of the City. To the immediate west across the tracks is the Intermodal Transportation Center and to the immediate south also across the tracks is the old downtown.
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Will the future of Salinas' Chinatown improve?  In the 1970’s, the City of Salinas began to revitalize the downtown district.  As a result, marginalized individuals were steadily pushed northward toward Chinatown.


The railroad tracks between downtown and Chinatown areas further isolated Chinatown from the rest of the City of Salinas.  The video on this site discusses the current situation and analyzes future prospects.

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Poetry From the Schoolyard: A-Z American Born Chinese

Poetry From the Schoolyard: A-Z American Born Chinese | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
'I remember when I first learned my ABCs. A is for apple, B is for bird, and C is for cat, but further experience taught me, that ABC means American Born Chinese.'
John Jung's insight:
When 12-year-old Sophia Huynh was assigned to write a poem about a social issue for her seventh grade class, she wrote “A-Z American Born Chinese,” an insightful take on race, ethnicity, and the condition of growing up Asian American. Discussing the stereotypes that she faces in school, Sophia illustrates the struggle of negotiating the expectations placed on her by others.

Sophia is only 12, but she sure can slam, and has great future promise!
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Throughout New York’s Chinatown, Telling Immigrant Stories Through Dance

Throughout New York’s Chinatown, Telling Immigrant Stories Through Dance | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
In Mei-Yin Ng’s "Sit, Eat, Chew," performers take you on a tour through Chinatown's apartments, restaurants, museums, and parks, while sharing personal immigrant stories.
John Jung's insight:
Showing History Through Dancing.... an engaging approach in New York by Mei-Yin Ng for depicting common problems faced by Chinese immigrants.

"Ng hopes to take “Sit, Eat, Chew” to other Chinese and Asian immigrant communities in San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, and elsewhere to “develop their own Chinatown story.” Based on the experience of seeing these New York City stories, the project is a welcome challenge and contribution to the growing conversation about how immigrant and Chinese American experiences are defined."
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A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America 2014 A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America | Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America 2014 A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America | Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
On May 10, 1869, Asian laborers were excluded from the photograph marking the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. On May 10, 2014, 500 people captured Asian Pacific America today in 2,000 photos and videos.
John Jung's insight:
A fascinating and creative undertaking to capture some of the diversity and experiences of Asian Pacific America.

"The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center issued a call to populate the online world with Asian Pacific American representations of life on a day when Asian Pacific American experiences were historically spectral. On May 10, 2014, the 145th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad aided by the labor of Chinese immigrants on May 10, 1869, over 500 people joined the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center for A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America by capturing over 2,000 photos and videos throughout the course of a single day. 

This exhibit features a small selection of the work and remains an experiment in envisioning the Asian Pacific America experience as a vast and complex identity, with a history that grows richer and more complicated with each new day.
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Are Chinatowns now obsolete?

Are Chinatowns  now obsolete? | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Forged by anti-Chinese attitudes and laws, these tightly knit communities brought both business opportunities and solace for immigrants
John Jung's insight:
"..From their very beginnings, Chinatowns were politicised spaces where competing visions for China’s future were vociferously argued. They have always been an interior world engaged with the politics of China, as well as local concerns of housing, immigration, labour law and social justice. Chinatowns, according to Tsui, serve “as a spiritual and historical touchstone for older generations, and as a physical home for new immigrants”, continuing to provide a way-station for the most economically precarious new arrivals.

..That is all changing. The Chinese working class and poor communities are being displaced here, powerless against the unified forces of developers backed by city rezoning and incentivising plans...

Developers claim they are preserving the neighbourhood, but the fact remains that the heart of the community – meaning its people and their livelihoods – are currently fighting for their existence."
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Pearls of Wisdom: Reflections on Being Chinese in Flushing, N.Y. in the 1940s

Pearls of Wisdom: Reflections on Being Chinese in Flushing, N.Y. in the 1940s | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
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Interview of Pearl Chow about being one of the few Chinese during the 1940s in Flushing, N.Y. where she and her siblings helped her parents run a restaurant after moving from Cleveland, Mississippi.
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University of Virginia Dorm Renamed for Chinese Graduate 

University of Virginia Dorm Renamed for Chinese Graduate  | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Where the conversation about Asian America Begins
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A dorm at University of Virginia that was named for a man who pushed for selective breeding to improve the human race has been renamed for a distinguished Chinese graduate . The Lewis House is now the Yen House-named for Yan Huiqing or W.W. Yen. He was the first international student to earn a bachelor degree from UVA in 1900 who went on to be China’s premier for five years and President of the Republic of China in the 1920a. 

.“Mr. Yen serves as a distinguished example of a true global scholar committed to cross-cultural exchange, peace, and goodwill,” read the resolution passed by the university’s Board of Visitors last month.
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From California to Kaiping: An ABC Searches for His Kaiping Roots

In a country that is so diverse and so culturally rich, what does it mean to be American? I try finding that answer by looking into my own family's roots i
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Casey Chin, an ABC from Sacramento shares his moving and rewarding  search for and finding his ancestral roots in Kaiping (Hoiping) in Guangdong, China.
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The Spring Festival: More American Than Asian | South Writ Large

The Spring Festival: More American Than Asian | South Writ Large | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
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Overview of celebration of Spring Festival by Chinese in Chinatowns as well as in parts where there are relatively few Chinese as in the Deep South. Unlike its activities in China with family reunions, holidays, and visits to temples, its form is different for Chinese in other parts of the world.  For example, a Spring Festival celebration in not an expression of religious devotion, but a celebration of Asian identity and culture. 
"In Atlanta and Houston, the Spring Festival is like a community fair—celebrated for one or two days at the local Chinese community center. Elsewhere in the South, the Spring Festival might be a dinner and a show at a convention center or a hotel or a university or an East Asian church. And while the customs might be Asian, the celebration itself is very American."
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The United States Of Chinese Food

Stream The United States Of Chinese Food by Gastropodcast from desktop or your mobile device
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fascinating podcast about a variety of topics related to Chinese restaurants including early negative views, role of chop suey, the MSG debate, rise of dine and dance restaurants in the 1920s (which also involved somewhat clandestine love tysts), rise of AYCE buffets, Jews and Chinese food, new Chinese food from many regions of China.
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Chinese Opera in North America | Library of Congress Blog

Chinese Opera in North America | Library of Congress Blog | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it

In  her new book "Chinatown Opera Theater in North America,” music scholar Nancy Yunhwa Rao tells the story of how Chinatown opera, performed initially to entertain Chinese immigrants, developed into an important part of America’s musical culture.

John Jung's insight:
"Whether for young children and their families, men and women doing menial work at laundries or merchants and store owners, Cantonese opera was an important form of musical utterance. Few other genres matched opera songs as apt expressions of mood, values and feelings for them.."

Cantonese opera records began to be very popular in late 1920s with the advent of better technology, so opera could be heard everywhere—.. The arias were also common in print form as published anthologies of lyrics, pamphlets that came with recordings and playbills on which lyrics were printed. I wrote about a Chinese-American woman growing up in Mississippi listening to Cantonese opera recordings in the back of her family grocery store..." 

"In the Roaring Twenties, many forward-thinking performing artists and composers from outside of Chinese communities attended performances and drew from the aesthetics and expression to craft modern music, theater and dance. Composers such as John Cage and Lou Harrison were famous examples."
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State Supreme Court Overrules Racist Decision That Stood For 125 Years

State Supreme Court Overrules Racist Decision That Stood For 125 Years | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
California Supreme Court’s decision posthumous admission of Hong Yen Chang into the state bar association exposes a legacy of bigotry that rivals Jim Crow.
John Jung's insight:
Hong Yen Chang, the first Chinese to become a lawyer in the U.S. faced discriminatory laws that prevented him from practice. in 1890. 
Chang came to the United States from China as a young boy in 1872. Sixteen years later, he’d earned degrees from Yale and Columbia Law School and, after a legal fight that culminated in an act of the state legislature permitting him to seek admission to the New York bar, he became the “only regularly admitted Chinese lawyer in this country.”

When he moved to California, the State  Supreme Court ruled that “courts are expressly forbidden to issue certificates of naturalization to any native of China” under thie 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act .and because the court also determined that Chang had to be eligible to become a United States citizen in order to be admitted to the bar, that was the end of Chang’s ambitions to practice law in California.

In 2015, only 125 years later after he was prevented from practicing law, Chang was posthumously admitted to the California bar the California Supreme Court, which ironically included 2 Chinese Americans, Justice Ming Chin, the son of Chinese immigrants, and Justice Goodwin Liu, a Taiwanese American whose parents also immigrated to the United States.

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Chinatown's swap meets once opened a door to the American dream. Now, their future is uncertain

Chinatown's swap meets once opened a door to the American dream. Now, their future is uncertain | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
As tourism to the neighborhood declined and online retailers and Chinese commercial centers in the San Gabriel Valley siphoned customers away, the swap meets froze in time.
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 Swap meets.....What was once a decent way to make a living fin Chinatown for new struggling immigrants  mostly from southeast Asian is no longer viable.  Rising rents, decaying store premises, and competitive pricing from newer merchants, especially Amazon are killing these small businesses.
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Immigrant Voices: Discover Immigrant Stories from Angel Island

Immigrant Voices: Discover Immigrant Stories from Angel Island | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Discover the stories of Pacific Coast Immigrants from around the world.
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Website of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation provides many valuable resources about immigrants from China and other parts of Asia, especially interviews of immigrants who arrived, and were often detained, at Angel Island in the San Francisco bay. Site also has excellent lists of books on Chinese immigrants for school age students and for adults: https://aiisf.org/education/resources/book-recommendations
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Suburbs, the New Chinatowns, Example of Philadelphia

Suburbs, the New Chinatowns, Example of Philadelphia | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
As today’s Chinese immigrants make their homes outside cities, what will become of the tight-knit urban communities that previous generations built?
John Jung's insight:
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently studied the Chinatowns of New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, and found that gentrification and rising housing costs were making it hard for blue-collar immigrants to live there. Their study found that in 1990, Asian residents comprised 45 to 75 percent of the three Chinatown neighborhoods. Twenty years later, they made up 42 to 46 percent. During that time, the white population doubled in Philadelphia and Boston’s Chinatown neighborhoods. As wealthier immigrants move to the suburbs and downtown real estate gets more expensive, urban Chinatowns are at risk of becoming ghost towns.
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Chinese Kids Driving Supercars: Inside the Secret Southern California Meet-up

China’s ultra-rich are growing in number and in wealth - and are sending billions of dollars out of the country. Much of it is landing up in the U.S. wher
John Jung's insight:
The new cohorts of rich Chinese youth coming to Southern California, and probably other parts of the U.S., are definitely a different 'breed' from the earlier Chinese immigrants from Guangdong.  Most nonAsians will not distinguish between the  earlier so-called "model minority" Chinese and  these "material minority" Chinese, who are giving a bad rep to all Chinese.

Many other videos about affluent Chinese immigrants who flaut their wealth can be found on YouTube such as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZs2i3Bpxx4
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The Kitchen Network: An Employment Agency for Chinese restaurant cooks.

The Kitchen Network: An Employment Agency for Chinese restaurant cooks. | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Lauren Hilgers on employment agencies that can get Chinese immigrants kitchen jobs across the country in a few hours.
John Jung's insight:
Small mom and pop Chinese restaurants can be found all over the country. Many of them recruit immigrants to work in their restaurants as cooks and other help using a 'employment agency' to find them.

"Most are family operations, staffed by immigrants who pass through for a few months at a time, living in houses and apartments that have been converted into makeshift dormitories. The restaurants, connected by Chinese-run bus companies to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, make up an underground network—supported by employment agencies, immigrant hostels, and expensive asylum lawyers—that reaches back to villages and cities in China, which are being abandoned for an ideal of American life that is not quite real."
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Betty Lee Sung Interview Clip

Betty Lee Sung, author of "Mountain of Gold: The Story of the Chinese in America"
John Jung's insight:
Betty Lee Sung, author of  "Mountain of Gold The Story of the Chinese in America," one of the first, if not the first, detailed history books for general audiences about Chinese in America talks about the difficulty of convincing publishers of the size of the market for a book on this topic.
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New York Chinatown Oral History Project PSA

Do you have a story to tell? Contact us. http://bit.ly/nycchinatownoralhist
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Overview of New York Chinatown Oral History Project led by Jean Lau Chin to record memories of Chinese who grew up in the 40s and 50s in NYC Chinatown.  
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“An Unknown Home” (work-in-progress) by Betty Yu (2017) 

A short documentary film about the filmmaker’s journey to her father’s hometown in Toisan, China. The filmmaker learns about her family’s roots…
John Jung's insight:
Kwong Chung Yu, a 79 year old in Brooklyn,  immigrated to the U.S. from Toishan when he was 9 or 10, and has never been back. He wanted to return for a visit, but did not for health reasons; instead his wife and daughter, filmmaker Betty Yu, went in his place even though they did not know how easy it would be to find the house when Yu grew up.  To their surprise, upon arrival, they ran into villagers celebrating the birth of a baby who remembered Kwong Chung Yu, and welcomed them and took them to his house for a tour.
A fascinating part of the film is that with modern technology, Kwong was able to see their visit under the sweltering Toisan heat in real time on his tv in the comfort of his Brooklyn home.
Film maker Betty Yu, a social activist, describes her conflicted feeling to realize that her father's family had been landowners and financially well-off, reasons why they fled to the U.S. to escape the harm they would receive when the Communists prevailed in in 1949.
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The Decline of Chinatown, Washington, D. C.

The Decline of Chinatown, Washington, D. C. | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Recommended by Educational Media Reviews Online "This documentary is ripe for pedagogical use in urban planning, sociology, and Chinese studies courses...many interesting concepts...could be expanded upon in the classroom through discussion, case study analysis, or research. The overall originality of the documentary’s subject matter makes it a worthy addition to library film collections." - Brandon West,…
John Jung's insight:
Through the stories of three Chinese Americans, the documentary  by Yi Chen takes an intimate look at the past, present and future of a changing neighborhood, Chinatown in Washington, D. C. from the perspective of its underrepresented low-income community.
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Running out of time

Running out of time | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
During the past year, whenever I sit down to write about Hanford’s Chinatown history, lyrics from the musical “Hamilton” play in my mind for a few minutes. I turn on
John Jung's insight:
The latest Hanford Sentinel newspaper column in search of history by Arianne Wing, niece of legendary Richard Wing who created a chinois restaurant, Imperial Dynasty, in the middle of "nowhere" (Hanford, CA. to be precise) that attracted celebrities from far and wide during its heyday in the middle  20th century unitl it closed in 2006. 

For background of Imperial Dynamsty See: https://www.mprnews.org/story/npr/5298206

Arianne, herself now a restaurateur and cookbook author,  laments all the lost opportunities she had in the past to ask relatives and old time residents of Hanford about the rich history of the Chinese community in Hanford. In closing, she cautions:

"Our history, no matter how mundane, is woven of threads that are the very fabric of individual, family, clan, cultural and community lives. Share your stories, your family history with family members and write it down. Don’t wait until you’re running out of time."

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Inside The Chinese Food Mecca Of Los Angeles [Chinese Food: An All-American Cuisine, Pt. 3] | AJ+

Los Angeles' San Gabriel Valley is the Chinese food mecca of the U.S., representing dishes from most regions of China. In this video, we'll learn how th
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Third of a series on Chinese restaurant cuisine in different parts of the U.S.  The discussion focuses on food, but brings in the history of the community, and how each of the 3 regions covered in the series is unique. This segment is about the San Gabriel Valley (SGV) to the northeast of downtown Los Angeles and it historic Chinatown.  Discussion of the affluence, and cultural isolation, of many mainland, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong Chinese living across the SGV and some of the tensions between nonChinese and Chinese is also raised.
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Cracking open a case of fortune cookie theft

Cracking open a case of fortune cookie theft | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
This week on The World in Words podcast, producer Lidia Jean Kott cracks open a case of fortune cookie theft. How did fortunes become a staple at Chinese restaurants in the US? And why are fortune cookie fortunes never really fortunes?
John Jung's insight:
Hardly an important aspect of the history of Chinese in America, but yet the venerable confection that signals the end of a meal at most Chinese restaurants managed to become an indispensable icon of a Chinese meal in the minds of many.  This podcast gives a history of its origins and development. 
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Meet the Chinese 'parachute kids' who travel to America alone for school

Meet the Chinese 'parachute kids' who travel to America alone for school | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
ARCADIA, California — Ryan Ren loves the soccer fields around his middle school in Arcadia, California. They don’t exist in his hometown of Guangzhou, China, but the 14-year-old student hasn’t been to Guangzhou in a while. Ryan is what’s known as a “parachute kid,” that is, a young person who comes to America alone to study.
John Jung's insight:
This newer generation of Chinese children who are sent from China by parents who remain to work in China are quite different from the earlier Chinese immigrant children who came with their parents or were born in the U. S. to immigrant parents. It will be interesting to see how these two subgroups of "Chinese Americans" fare in the future.
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Teaching Kids About Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco with An American Girl Story - Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance - Tech Savvy Mama

Teaching Kids About Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco with An American Girl Story - Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance - Tech Savvy Mama | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
This is a sponsored post As a child of the 70s who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, watching An American Girl Story — Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance was like a peek into my childhood. The newest American Girl special tells the story of Ivy Ling, a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl…
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"TEACHING KIDS ABOUT GROWING UP CHINESE AMERICAN IN SAN FRANCISCO WITH AN AMERICAN GIRL STORY – IVY & JULIE 1976: A HAPPY BALANCE 
 (One of Amazon's American Girl movies)

March 22, 2017 
 Leticia Barr, a blogger on parenting in the digital age presents several important topics that kids could discuss after viewing this film to further their understanding of cultural differences and how they affect the development of identity.

"Ivy Ling is a 10-year-old Chinese-American girl growing up in San Francisco in 1976 who wants to be like her all-American best friend, Julie Albright. Ivy struggles to find a balance being both Chinese and American, especially as Chinese New Year approaches and she’s faced with choosing between her family’s traditions and her love of gymnastics. When her gymnastics tournament and her family’s big Chinese New Year dinner happen on the same day, Ivy turns to Julie to help her with a difficult choice but in the end, makes the decision on her own."
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How Asian Americans Remade Suburbia

How Asian Americans Remade Suburbia | Chinese American Now | Scoop.it
Asian immigrants, once the “ultimate outsiders,” have profoundly reshaped the suburbs of San Francisco.
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As  suburban demographics have changed with more Asian Americans in a space once exclusively white, schools, retail spaces, and even private residences have become battlegrounds for a growing struggle to define the identity of suburbia.
Asian Americans have changed the mall in terms of the store configurations, usage, and ownership models to make it  better reflect their identity and these changes have also been points of tension.  
A new book, "Trespassers? Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia," by Professor Willow Lum Aman, explores that tension in the context of Fremont, California, the largest Asian American-majority suburb in the Silicon Valley.

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