Resources

PAST EVENT The Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act with North Hill Resident Tom ChinĀ  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 10 am.

Have you ever wondered why there were so few working class Chinese,
yet so many laundries and restaurants during the 1900s through the 1950s?
Come to this lecture and find out.

Around the time The California Gold Rush began (1849), natural disasters were driving Southern Chinese out of their country to find a sustainable livelihood. Many went to the west coast of the U.S.A. to stake a claim in the mines they believed would yield their fortunes. By 1852 over 20,000 Chinese immigrants came through San Francisco, almost 10 times more than the previous year. Over three more decades, territorial rivalries, economic uncertainty, racism, and nationalism led to prejudicial policies and outright violence against the Chinese. The most draconian measure came on May 6, 1882 when President Chester A. Arthur signed The Chinese Exclusion Act prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers.

Join North Hill Residents, Tom and May Chin, as they explore the complex factors that led to this shameful period in American history and the subsequent impact of Chinese Americans on our culture. Tom will highlight key points of the Chinese Exclusion Act and May will describe growing up during the Chinese Exclusion Act. Tom and his wife May were born and grew up Boston, MA. Both had parents who immigrated from Toishan, China in the early 1900s. Tom holds a BA and MBA from Harvard, worked in the financial field and then in education after retirement.

May is a retired RN and worked in clinical and administrative leadership roles in academic medical centers in Ontario and Boston.