Becoming Chinese American: A History of Communities and Institutions

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Rowman Altamira, 2004 - History - 397 pages
Becoming Chinese American discusses the historical and cultural development of Chinese American life in the past century. Representing a singular breadth of knowledge about the Chinese American past, the volume begins with an historical overview of Chinese migration to the United States, followed by critical discussion of the development of key community institutions, Chinese-language schools, newspapers, and politics in early Chinese American life. Rather than emphasize experiences of discrimination, the collection focuses on Chinese American community formation that tested the racially-imposed boundaries on their new lives in the United States. Written by noted Chinese American scholar Him Mark Lai, the essays in this volume will be of interest to scholars of Asian and Asian American studies, as well as American history, ethnicity, and immigration.

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It is a very interesting historical record of Chinese American in the Central Valley area where the Chinese people are struggling to establish their business while competing with major corporations. I recommend this book to people who want to know the history records of the Chinese immigrants.

Selected pages


Guangdong Origins
Aftermath to Exclusion The Confession Program
Traditionist Organizations
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent AssociationHuiguan System
The Sanyi Sam Yup Community in America
Chinese Regional Solidarity The Hua Xian Fa Yuen Community
Flower Growers and Political Activists The Huangliang Du Wong Leung Do Community
Expressing Their Commonality Chinese Locality and Dialect Group Associations
Cultural Retention
Chinese Schools in America before World War II
Chinese Schools in America after World War II
Chinese Glossary
About the Author

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About the author (2004)

Him Mark Lai has researched Chinese American history, has written key articles and books, and in 1969 co-taught the first college level course in America on Chinese American history. Very active in community cultural activities, he produced a weekly hour-long community-based Cantonese language radio program from 1971 to 1984. In 1991 he became a coordinator of the Chinese Culture Foundation's 'In Search of Roots' program, which organizes Chinese American youths to research their family histories and to visit their ancestral villages. Featured in the January 14, 2000 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education as 'the scholar who legitimized the study of Chinese America,' Mr. Lai collected everything about Chinese American history that he could, which has resulted in one of the richest and most extensive personal collections of its kind. Madeline Hsu teaches at San Francisco State University.

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