The Chicago Sun-Times reports on “The spin on Chinese laundries,” profiling John Jung, professor emeritus at California State University Long Beach:
“In China, women traditionally did the laundry. But as Chinese men immigrated, they were only allowed to own laundries and, later, restaurants.”
Jung grew up in Macon, Georgia, where his father owned the local laundry and was the only Chinese family in town. Jung recently published “Southern Fried Rice: Life in a Chinese Laundry in the Deep South” and “Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain.” The article reminded me of a recent book I read, “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food” and how the Chinese in America in the
Jung was recently in Chicago speaking at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago in conjunction with the exhibit “From the Great Wall to the Great Lakes.” The exhibit looks looks at occupations open to Chinese immigrants in the first half of the 20th century – which you can imagine, were quite limited. Chinese-Americans and Asian-Americans have certainly come a long way from those days!