The Chinese of California: a Struggle for Community

chinese-of-ca.jpgThe San Francisco Chronicle reports in “First Chinese had hard times in state” that the California Historical Society in downtown San Francisco has a major new exhibition of paintings, pictures and artifacts themed as “The Chinese of California: a Struggle for Community.”:

“…There are pictures and artifacts of Chinese working – on the railroads, in the fields and orchards, and in mines of the place they called “Gold Mountain.” By 1882, the Chinese Historical Society says, 75 percent of the agricultural workforce in California was Chinese. However, the large number of Chinese in California set off anti-immigration forces; unions feared them, and even the Native Sons of the Golden West refused to let California-born Chinese Americans join. The exhibit shows magazine caricatures of evil-looking Chinese, copies of anti-Chinese newspaper articles and tracts, and a 1919 letter from state Sen. J.M. Ingram of Stockton to San Francisco Mayor James Rolph asking his help in “combatting the Asiatic evil which the state of California is confronting.”

If you’ve read The Chinese in America: A Narritive History, you will remember the many documented struggles to fight discrimination for early Chinese immigrants. If you get a chance to see the exhibit, please let us know at what you think. I’ll have to check the exhibit out for myself. The exhibit runs through August 30th.

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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