There is still snow on the ground, even though it is melting.
Worthwhile items about Chinese Americans over at NPR, from last week: gentrification of Chinatowns. When an immigrant community’s next generation assimilates or moves on, or there are changes in the types of jobs available, a community will change. But, gentrification in terms of race and class – that’s not exactly comfortable stuff.
The story of the Delta Chinese, as fascinatingly portrayed on NPR, is sort of a contrast to the gentrification of Chinatown. It isn’t quite about displacement by class and race, but the evolution of immigration and society is something to remember and reflect on. (btw – definitely worth reading this NPR item, along with the other NPR item on gentrification of Chinatowns).
The NPR item on gentrification of Chinatowns, notably, quoted Peter Kwong, Hunter College professor, and Asian American studies pioneer, who observed that New York City’s Chinatowns may be the last stand of a working class, viable Chinatown. Sadly, Kwong passed away last Friday, as announced in the news. (h/t Asian American Writers’ Workshop‘s Facebook pagepost). Things to think about, as we consider the history of Chinese in America, and how do we go forward.
Below, I’m re-posting the post from prior years. I also recommend taking a look at David W. Dunlap’s article in the NY Times today on the Tribute in Lights, which I appreciate as a memorial left open for the viewer to interpret. — ssw15