||One of the most important cases is Wong Kim Ark v. The United States, an 1897 U.S. Supreme Court decision that for the first time established the legal right of citizenship by birth for all Americans, more clearly defining the 14th amendment. Another important case was the 1885 Yick Wo v. Hopkins, in which a Chinese Laundrymen guild won "equality before the law" with regards to regulations on their livelihood.
Program 3 will also portray the case of Mamie Tape, an 8-year-old Chinese American girl whose parents fought for her to be admitted to the all-white Spring Valley School in San Francisco in 1885. Her descendants help tell this pioneering story of school desegregation.
"A hundred years ago I would not have been able to go to school here....Jennie Hurley, the school principal, stood at the door to bar Mamie Tape from entering. Today, I, a Chinese American, am the principal, and it is my role to stand at the gate and welcome all children." - Ms.Lonnie Chin, principal, Spring Valley school, 1997
In addition, Program 3 will put Asians in America within the context of world events. By the early 1900s the U.S. was becoming an international power and looking beyond its western shores to the lands across the Pacific, to Hawaii and Philippines. "The Far East has now become our Far West," declared Secretary of State John Hay.
But the influence was not one way. Program 3 will show how the American experience of Asian immigrants, despite the discrimination they faced and fought, provided ideological inspiration and practical support for the formation of nationalist and democratic movements in their homelands in the early 20th century.
Seeking to establish a new republic to replace a crumbling, millennia-old monarchy system, the Chinese in China sent out a clarion call for the patriotic support and aid of their former countrymen in America. The reliable response of "overseas" Chinese, especially those in America, helped financed the revolution that gave birth to the Chinese Republic in 1911.
In parallel fashion, Asian Indians in California and the Pacific Northwest, longing to throw off British control of India, formed the Ghadar Revolutionary Party in San Francisco, and Korean Americans in Hawaii and California established similar organizations to throw off Japan's domination of Korea.
By the conclusion of Program 3 we see how and why all the early Asian immigrant groups--Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Asian Indian, and Korean--arrived and started their American communities by the second decade of the 20th century.