By: Bernice Chan
After the name game we wrote down 5 important events in our lives. The process of asking my mom about these events and her experiences in America were eye opening. I've known that she had to work in the evening after going to English classes in the morning, but every time I ask about her initial experiences in America, she tells me more than she did before. It's the little details like how back then, it was hard to find a job in Chinatown because you needed a referral, which many immigrants didn't have. I didn't know my mom was so self-sufficient and independent in making her own money, while I'm just handed a weekly 20.
We then went over an indepth review of the history from Asian American industries including railroads, construction, agriculture and mining to the Chinese Exclusion Act, to 1980's events concerning Vincent Chin, and present day Chinatowns. There's so much history that I know about but don't know enough to tell to others.
After today, I realized (mentor) Linda was right. I need to find out my great grandpa's story, who's been in America since pre-1960's. My grandpa told me his dad told him to not come to America because life here was too hard. In my family, there's a rumor that my great great grandmother-- was half white. There's so many stories waiting to be uncovered.
To view what we did during the session, click here.
To view the pictures from the session, click here.