Chinese American Museum of Chicago - Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center

Chinese American Museum of Chicago - Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center The Chinese American Museum of Chicago - Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center (CAMOC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation located in Chicago, Illinois.
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Our mission is to advance the appreciation of Chinese American culture through exhibitions, education, and research and to preserve the past, present, and future of Chinese Americans primarily in the Midwest. The Museum building, formerly the Quong Yick Co., is located in Chicago's Chinatown, at 238 West 23rd Street, Chicago, IL 60616
1/2 block west of Wentworth Ave. and 3 blocks from the Chinatown station of the CTA's Red Line.

Operating as usual

This week in #AAPIHeritageMonth, we will discuss the reasons how Chinese Americans ended up in the US in the first place...
05/06/2021

This week in #AAPIHeritageMonth, we will discuss the reasons how Chinese Americans ended up in the US in the first place! We will also talk about the laws that have affected all Asian immigrants. Much of US immigration policy regarding Asians has been shaped by one initial act, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was not repealed until 1943, when Japan repeatedly referenced the act to weaken ties between the US and China, who was its ally in WWII. There was little opposition to the repeal, as the Immigration Act of 1924 already barred "aliens" who were ineligible for citizenship from entering the country in the first place. Of course, this included the Chinese. In fact, there was now an immigration quota of around 105 Chinese people allowed to enter every year. The race-based (not nationality-based, like for European immigrants) quota system was in use until 1965.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, or Hart-Cellar Act, put in place a new immigration policy based on reunited families and attracting "skilled" laborers. The system still implemented caps on the number of immigrants by country and category. The act led to huge shift in the demographic of the American population, as families from countries experiencing war (often ones in which the US was involved in) fled to the US for a new home. In the 1950s, Europeans made up half of immigrants entering the US, and Asians only 6 percent. In the 1990s, only 16 percent were Europeans and 31 percent were Asians. Between 1965 and 2000, 1.4 million were from the Philippines. Immigrants from Korea, India, and Vietnam were each numbered between 700,000 and 800,000 over this period.

Photo from the US House of Representatives.

This week in #AAPIHeritageMonth, we will discuss the reasons how Chinese Americans ended up in the US in the first place! We will also talk about the laws that have affected all Asian immigrants. Much of US immigration policy regarding Asians has been shaped by one initial act, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was not repealed until 1943, when Japan repeatedly referenced the act to weaken ties between the US and China, who was its ally in WWII. There was little opposition to the repeal, as the Immigration Act of 1924 already barred "aliens" who were ineligible for citizenship from entering the country in the first place. Of course, this included the Chinese. In fact, there was now an immigration quota of around 105 Chinese people allowed to enter every year. The race-based (not nationality-based, like for European immigrants) quota system was in use until 1965.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, or Hart-Cellar Act, put in place a new immigration policy based on reunited families and attracting "skilled" laborers. The system still implemented caps on the number of immigrants by country and category. The act led to huge shift in the demographic of the American population, as families from countries experiencing war (often ones in which the US was involved in) fled to the US for a new home. In the 1950s, Europeans made up half of immigrants entering the US, and Asians only 6 percent. In the 1990s, only 16 percent were Europeans and 31 percent were Asians. Between 1965 and 2000, 1.4 million were from the Philippines. Immigrants from Korea, India, and Vietnam were each numbered between 700,000 and 800,000 over this period.

Photo from the US House of Representatives.

Inspired by the story of the first Chinese woman to arrive in the United States, THE CHINESE LADY unearths hidden histor...
05/05/2021

Inspired by the story of the first Chinese woman to arrive in the United States, THE CHINESE LADY unearths hidden history with humor and insight. During this live online program on Thursday, May 13—in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month—see scenes and learn more about this piercing and darkly poetic portrayal of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman. Plus engage in a discussion with playwright Lloyd Suh, director Helen Young, and other special guests about how this story illuminates the roots of the prejudice, bigotry, and hate facing today’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander community and inspires us to see and understand each other anew.

This FREE & one-night-only event will be presented live online. To make reservations and for more info, visit timelinetheatre.com/setting-the-stage-chinese-lady.

Inspired by the story of the first Chinese woman to arrive in the United States, THE CHINESE LADY unearths hidden history with humor and insight. During this live online program on Thursday, May 13—in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month—see scenes and learn more about this piercing and darkly poetic portrayal of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman. Plus engage in a discussion with playwright Lloyd Suh, director Helen Young, and other special guests about how this story illuminates the roots of the prejudice, bigotry, and hate facing today’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander community and inspires us to see and understand each other anew.

This FREE & one-night-only event will be presented live online. To make reservations and for more info, visit timelinetheatre.com/setting-the-stage-chinese-lady.

Photos from Ethnic.Events's post
05/04/2021

Photos from Ethnic.Events's post

This week in #AAPIHeritageMonth, we will discuss the reasons how Chinese Americans ended up in the US in the first place...
05/03/2021

This week in #AAPIHeritageMonth, we will discuss the reasons how Chinese Americans ended up in the US in the first place! We will also talk about the laws that have affected all Asian immigrants. Much of US immigration policy related to Asians has been shaped by one initial act, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

On May 6, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act into law, suspending Chinese immigration for 10 years and barring Chinese immigrants from becoming citizens. It was the first major US law that restricted a racial group from immigrating to the country. So why did this happen?

The Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century left China devastated, as the British sold more and more opium to the Chinese unrestricted on their own soil in the name of "free trade". The country also underwent years of flooding and droughts, making farming incredibly difficult and famine and disease widespread. After gold was found in the Sacramento Valley of California in 1848, more Chinese men entered the country to join the Gold Rush, looking to make money to send back home.

In 1852, California enacted a Foreign Miners Tax, discriminating against Chinese miners. Chinese workers were often victims of violence from white workers. White Americans on the West Coast attributed declining wages and economic struggles to Chinese workers. Though the Chinese population composed less than 1% of the population at this time, Congress passed the act to placate the workers' anger and preserve "racial purity" in the country.

A decade after the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Geary Act of 1892 renewed the initial legislation and expanded the federal government's power to enforce immigration laws. The passing of the Geary Act sparked protests in major US cities, including Chicago. The passing of the Geary Act led to sweeping arrests of Chinese people and raids of Chinese businesses, devastating Chinese communities across the country.

Photo of the document from the The National Archives.

This week in #AAPIHeritageMonth, we will discuss the reasons how Chinese Americans ended up in the US in the first place! We will also talk about the laws that have affected all Asian immigrants. Much of US immigration policy related to Asians has been shaped by one initial act, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

On May 6, 1882, President Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act into law, suspending Chinese immigration for 10 years and barring Chinese immigrants from becoming citizens. It was the first major US law that restricted a racial group from immigrating to the country. So why did this happen?

The Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century left China devastated, as the British sold more and more opium to the Chinese unrestricted on their own soil in the name of "free trade". The country also underwent years of flooding and droughts, making farming incredibly difficult and famine and disease widespread. After gold was found in the Sacramento Valley of California in 1848, more Chinese men entered the country to join the Gold Rush, looking to make money to send back home.

In 1852, California enacted a Foreign Miners Tax, discriminating against Chinese miners. Chinese workers were often victims of violence from white workers. White Americans on the West Coast attributed declining wages and economic struggles to Chinese workers. Though the Chinese population composed less than 1% of the population at this time, Congress passed the act to placate the workers' anger and preserve "racial purity" in the country.

A decade after the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Geary Act of 1892 renewed the initial legislation and expanded the federal government's power to enforce immigration laws. The passing of the Geary Act sparked protests in major US cities, including Chicago. The passing of the Geary Act led to sweeping arrests of Chinese people and raids of Chinese businesses, devastating Chinese communities across the country.

Photo of the document from the The National Archives.

To kick off the first full week of AAPI Heritage month, we have two exciting events to share!On Wednesday, May 5, TALK S...
05/02/2021

To kick off the first full week of AAPI Heritage month, we have two exciting events to share!

On Wednesday, May 5, TALK STORIES returns to the virtual space at 7pm. Join us in celebrating another year for Talk Stories in storytelling and community building. Tickets are $5, and you can purchase them here: https://buff.ly/3uXWyJ5

On Saturday, May 8 at 3pm, CAMOC partners with the Chinese Historical Society to present a special film screening and discussion of CELESTIALS, a documentary film about Chinese railroad workers. Tickets are also $5, and you can purchase them here: https://buff.ly/3v3mMdp

To kick off the first full week of AAPI Heritage month, we have two exciting events to share!

On Wednesday, May 5, TALK STORIES returns to the virtual space at 7pm. Join us in celebrating another year for Talk Stories in storytelling and community building. Tickets are $5, and you can purchase them here: https://buff.ly/3uXWyJ5

On Saturday, May 8 at 3pm, CAMOC partners with the Chinese Historical Society to present a special film screening and discussion of CELESTIALS, a documentary film about Chinese railroad workers. Tickets are also $5, and you can purchase them here: https://buff.ly/3v3mMdp

CAMOC's Immediate Past President and Chair of Exhibitions Committee, Soo Lon Moy, with Chair of Collections and Research...
05/02/2021

CAMOC's Immediate Past President and Chair of Exhibitions Committee, Soo Lon Moy, with Chair of Collections and Research, Andrea Stamm, join Museum of Chinese in America for their Treasures on the Road series Wednesday, May 12, from 4:00-5:00pm CDT.

This intimate virtual conversation highlights distinct artifacts, antiques, and collectibles held by members of the MOCA community from around the world. Guests share their special artifact and the stories behind them while engaging in conversation with an expert scholar or professional. The goal of the program series is to bring out the depth and vastness of the Chinese American narrative to the MOCA community. MOCA Treasures captures stories of celebration, hardship, family travels, immigration, discrimination, diaspora, survival, success, and so much more.

CAMOC is a participating organization of MOCA’s recent special exhibition Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History. Soo Lon and Andrea will be in conversation with Andrew Rebatta, MOCA’s Associate Curator, about the role of CAMOC in preserving the history of the Chinese community in Chicago, as well as two featured artifacts: Lama Temple incense from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, A Century of Progress, and a rare 1942 adoption document from a local Chinatown family.

Register for free here: https://buff.ly/3aWldGk

CAMOC's Immediate Past President and Chair of Exhibitions Committee, Soo Lon Moy, with Chair of Collections and Research, Andrea Stamm, join Museum of Chinese in America for their Treasures on the Road series Wednesday, May 12, from 4:00-5:00pm CDT.

This intimate virtual conversation highlights distinct artifacts, antiques, and collectibles held by members of the MOCA community from around the world. Guests share their special artifact and the stories behind them while engaging in conversation with an expert scholar or professional. The goal of the program series is to bring out the depth and vastness of the Chinese American narrative to the MOCA community. MOCA Treasures captures stories of celebration, hardship, family travels, immigration, discrimination, diaspora, survival, success, and so much more.

CAMOC is a participating organization of MOCA’s recent special exhibition Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History. Soo Lon and Andrea will be in conversation with Andrew Rebatta, MOCA’s Associate Curator, about the role of CAMOC in preserving the history of the Chinese community in Chicago, as well as two featured artifacts: Lama Temple incense from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, A Century of Progress, and a rare 1942 adoption document from a local Chinatown family.

Register for free here: https://buff.ly/3aWldGk

Anti-Chinese prejudice and violence on the West and East coasts made life difficult for Chinese immigrants. Many found t...
05/01/2021

Anti-Chinese prejudice and violence on the West and East coasts made life difficult for Chinese immigrants. Many found the Midwest more accepting of Chinese immigrants, allowing them to make a living as merchants, restaurant owners, laundry men, or grocers.

Settled by the Chinese in the mid-1870s, the area on Clark between Van Buren and Harrison had matured into a true Chinatown (although it was not usually called by that name) by the late 1880s. Family associations often helped new arrivals find places to live and work, the first and most powerful family association being the Moys. Community leader and unofficial local historian Moy Dong Chow (of Hip Lung Yee Kee and Co.) and his brother, Moy Dong Hoy, led a protest on May 5, 1892, against the Geary Act, which renewed the Chinese Exclusion Act from a decade earlier. The passing of the Geary Act led to sweeping arrests of Chinese people and raids of Chinese businesses across the country.

Worried about the rising anti-Chinese violence, some Chinatown residents began moving from the Loop to the near South Side. By 1910, half of the Chinese community had been forced to move out of Clark Street due to property owners in the Loop drastically raising rent prices to drive the Chinese out. Resistance from some Italian immigrants living in the Armour Square area enforced the southern boundary of Chinatown at 22nd Street.

This postcard is one of CAMOC's few objects from the original Chinatown in the Loop. Hung Fong Lo Co. Restaurant was located at 350 S. State St. and 10 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL. CAMOC currently has a mini-exhibition "Era of Opulence: Chinese Fine Dining" on the second floor that tells the fascinating story of Chinese restaurants from the early 20th century. On view until September 2021.

Postcard is postmarked Feb. 26, 1912. Donated by Raymond Lum. #ChineseAmericanHistory #CAMOCCollections #ChineseChicago #ChineseRestaurantHistory

Anti-Chinese prejudice and violence on the West and East coasts made life difficult for Chinese immigrants. Many found the Midwest more accepting of Chinese immigrants, allowing them to make a living as merchants, restaurant owners, laundry men, or grocers.

Settled by the Chinese in the mid-1870s, the area on Clark between Van Buren and Harrison had matured into a true Chinatown (although it was not usually called by that name) by the late 1880s. Family associations often helped new arrivals find places to live and work, the first and most powerful family association being the Moys. Community leader and unofficial local historian Moy Dong Chow (of Hip Lung Yee Kee and Co.) and his brother, Moy Dong Hoy, led a protest on May 5, 1892, against the Geary Act, which renewed the Chinese Exclusion Act from a decade earlier. The passing of the Geary Act led to sweeping arrests of Chinese people and raids of Chinese businesses across the country.

Worried about the rising anti-Chinese violence, some Chinatown residents began moving from the Loop to the near South Side. By 1910, half of the Chinese community had been forced to move out of Clark Street due to property owners in the Loop drastically raising rent prices to drive the Chinese out. Resistance from some Italian immigrants living in the Armour Square area enforced the southern boundary of Chinatown at 22nd Street.

This postcard is one of CAMOC's few objects from the original Chinatown in the Loop. Hung Fong Lo Co. Restaurant was located at 350 S. State St. and 10 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL. CAMOC currently has a mini-exhibition "Era of Opulence: Chinese Fine Dining" on the second floor that tells the fascinating story of Chinese restaurants from the early 20th century. On view until September 2021.

Postcard is postmarked Feb. 26, 1912. Donated by Raymond Lum. #ChineseAmericanHistory #CAMOCCollections #ChineseChicago #ChineseRestaurantHistory

Address

238 W 23rd St
Chicago, IL
60616

Opening Hours

Saturday 10:30 - 15:30
Sunday 10:30 - 15:30

Telephone

(312) 949-1000

Products

Plan and create exhibitions revolving Chinese American communities (Chicagoland in particular)
Organize public lectures
(see 2012's Chinatown Centennial Lectures:
Celebrating 100 Years of Chicago Chinatown)
Conduct research on the history of Chinese-Americans in Midwestern America
Collect objects, photographs, and documents relevant to Chinese American history
Fund raise

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Our mission is to advance the appreciation of Chinese American culture through exhibitions, education, and research and to preserve the past, present, and future of Chinese Americans primarily in the Midwest. The Museum building, formerly the Quong Yick Co., is located in Chicago's Chinatown, at 238 West 23rd Street, Chicago, IL 60616 1/2 block west of Wentworth Ave. and 3 blocks from the Chinatown station of the CTA's Red Line.

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“Story of My Ancestors Who Built the First Transcontinental Railroad” Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society published my article - “Story of My Ancestors Who Built the First Transcontinental Railroad.” I describe the odyssey of Bein Yiu Chung, my great great grandfather, from Hoyping, on Gold Mountain – America. He labored as a railroad worker on Transcontinental Railroad, from 1865 to 1869. I also tell the tales of: - My great great great grandfather who mined for gold during California Gold Rush (1849-1855) - My great grandfather who owned a gambling parlor and o***m den in Boston Chinatown (1892-1926) - My grandfather who owned a Chop Suey house at Central Square in Cambridge (1923-1936) - My father who was an aircraft mechanic for US Navy during World War II (1943-1945) and was a minor partner for a Chinese nightclub in San Francisco Chinatown (1946-1950)
ASAMNEWS – Army General with a Cause: Chinese Am WWII veterans On behalf of ASAMNEWS, I wrote an article about retired Army Major General William Chen. He was a key leader for Chinese American World War II Veterans Congressional Gold Medal.
THE SECOND TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD – From California to New Mexico (1869 to 1881) For AsAmNews, I wrote an article about the Second Transcontinental Railroad – “Here’s how Chinese built the “other” transcontinental railroad”.
ASAMNEWS - Racism impact: 5 Generations of a Chinese Family in the US For AsAmNews, I wrote an article about Bruce Quan, Jr.’s book - BITTER ROOTS – Five Generations of a Chinese Family in America. In Part One: The Rise and Fall of the First Chinese Industrialist in America, Quan talks about Lew Hing, his great grandfather. Lew faced racism impact in America as he developed his cannery business and other business ventures. BITTER ROOTS book is available from Amazon.
ASAMNEWS - Racism impact: 5 Generations of a Chinese Family in the US For AsAmNews, I wrote an article about Bruce Quan, Jr.’s book - BITTER ROOTS – Five Generations of a Chinese Family in America. In Part One: The Rise and Fall of the First Chinese Industrialist in America, Quan talks about Lew Hing, his great grandfather. Lew faced racism impact in America as he developed his cannery business and other business ventures. BITTER ROOTS book is available from Amazon.
NEW ENGLAND - Chinese Restaurant Finances in the 1920s For SAMPAN, the only bilingual Chinese-English Newspaper in New England, Richard Auffrey has written “Chinese Restaurant Finances in the 1920s.” Richard describes the financing at Royal Restaurant in Boston Chinatown and at Imperial Restaurant in Central Square of Cambridge. Moi Chung, my grandfather, from Hoyping, Kwangtung, Cathay, was partner for both restaurants. He was a grandson of a railroad worker of the First Transcontinental Railroad.
THE ZHANG CLAN ODYSSEY: Zhang Weiming - My Kaiping Journey - From Gold Mountain To Dragon Hill Village On my The Zhang Clan Odyssey website, I poignantly describe the journey to my ancestral land of Kaiping at Jiangmen in Guangdong, China. My Dragon Hill Village is nestled in the countryside of the Pearl River Delta, in the Wuyi region. On May 8, 2009, I wistfully honored my Zhang ancestors, with Qingming festival. Amid the stony tombs on the Hill of the Flying Swan: my great great great grandfather, the gold miner of California Gold Rush; my great great grandfather, the railroad worker on the Transcontinental Railroad; and my great grandfather, the Boston Chinatown gambling and o***m entrepreneur. https://www.mychinaroots.com/samples/zhang-odyssey/index.html#140 My China Roots, Beijing, China, created the Zhang Clan Odyssey site, for me.
PROFESSOR YONG CHEN AND “CHOP SUEY, USA” – A Zoom Webinar The Conversation Kitchen of University of California at Irvine will feature Professor Yong Chen’s book Chop Suey, USA. He and Chef Jessica Van Roo will muse about the culinary dishes of Chop Suey in USA. Chop Suey is the comfort food of the Cantonese sojourners on Gold Mountain. From the iconic musical and movie, “Flower Drum Song,” a tasty ode to Chop Suey: “Chop Suey” Chop suey, chop suey! Living here is very much like chop suey. Hula hoops and nuclear war, Doctor Salk and Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, and Dewey, Chop suey, --Chop suey!-- Stars are drifting overhead, Birds and worms have gone to bed. Men work late in laboratories, Others read detective stories. Some are roaming 'round the country, Others sit beneath just one tree. Tonight on TV's Late, Late Show You can look at Clara Bow! --Who?-- Chop suey, chop suey! Good and bad, intelligent, mad, and screwy. Violins and trumpets and drums, Take it all the way that it comes, Sad and funny, sour and honey dewy, Chop suey! Ballpoint pens and filter tips, Lipsticks and potato chips. In the dampest kind of heat wave You can give your hair a neat wave. Hear that lovely La Paloma, Lullaby by Perry Como. Dreaming in my Maiden form bra, Dreamed I danced the Cha-Cha-Cha. Chop suey, chop suey! Mixed with all the hokum and bally hooey. Something real and glowing grand. Sheds a light all over the land. Boston, Austin, Wichita, and St. Louey, Chop suey. Chop suey, chop suey! Chop suey, chop suey!
ASAMNEWS - 28 Chinese miners massacred in Wyoming in 1885 over jobs On behalf of AsAmNews, I wrote an article about the ugly massacre of Chinese coal miners at Rock Springs in Wyoming Territory. After the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, anti-Chinese sentiment swept the wildlands of the American West. Whites discriminated against the Chinese; Whites expelled the Chinese from Chinatowns; Whites slaughtered the Chinese at towns, fields, and mines. A bitter memory of a brutal incident against the Chinese, on September 2, 1885 – The Rock Springs Massacre.
GIM SUEY CHONG - Chinese American World War II Veteran As we honor and remember our veterans on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020, I reminisce about Gim Suey Chong, my father. Gim was a Chinese American World War II Veteran. He served with United States Naval Reserve. His all-Chinese crew diligently maintained the China Clipper, the world-famous flying boat and other seaplanes, to and from Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. They performed crucial maintenance at Treasure Island Station on the San Francisco Bay, east of San Francisco. He was discharged on December 7, 1945. From Hoyping in Kwangtung province of China, Gim arrived at the Port of Boston, as a paper son – an illegal immigrant, on April 20, 1932. He was a victim of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. He was separated from his mother, for 34 years, until February 14, 1966. They reunited at Los Angeles International Airport. Gim was a descendant of Chinese gold miner during the California Gold Rush and of Chinese railroad worker on the Transcontinental Railroad On Angel Island Immigrant Station Foundation website, under Immigrant Voices, Gim is profiled in “Gim Suey Chong: Our Quiet Man.”
ASAMNEWS - Two Chinese men overcome racism to make history (Transcontinental Railroad) On behalf of AsAmNews, I wrote about “Chinese Brothers, American Sons,” by Ed Shew of Saint Louis, Missouri. “Ed Shew has written a historical novel – Chinese Brothers, American Sons. He tells the story of the brave two fictional Cantonese brothers, Li Chang, the eldest, and Li Yu under the backdrop of Chinese American history.” They faced racism during California Gold Rush, San Francisco Chinatown, and Transcontinental Railroad, from 1854 to 1869.