A Bill Moyers Special - Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

The Chinese Experience
About the Programs

The Chinese Experience } Resources - Organizations and Web Sites

America Is Still Becoming

The Becoming American series is accompanied by both a viewer's guide and a guide for high school educators. In addition, the following list of resources — organizations, books and videos — has been compiled for those interested in exploring the ideas found in the series more fully. The organization list is found below while the books and videos can be accessed via the links above this paragraph.

National History and Culture

The American West
Angel Island
Gold Rush
Other Regional History and Culture

Natural History


Chinese Historical Society of America
The CHSA preserves artifacts and cultural items such as manuscripts, books, and works of art that relate the history of the Chinese living in the United States and promotes the contributions made by generations of Chinese Americans.

Immigration Reform Act of 1965
On this site, the Brookings Institution published an article outlining the complexities of modern immigration laws.

National Trust for Historic Preservation
The NTHP is an organization that works to preserve decaying and otherwise endangered historic landmarks across the country. Contact the group to find out how to save your favorite local historical site.

US National Archives & Records Administration
This site includes a listing of records and archival materials regarding Chinese immigration and the Chinese in the United States. In many cases, NARA records are open to the public, and individuals interested in learning more about a particular topic can use this resource to search for and sometimes order copies of government documents.

Visit this site to read early decisions of the United States Supreme Court, including Fong Yue Ting v. US and Wong Kim Ark v. US.

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Chinese American Data Center
This site includes information on the history of the Chinese in America, and also provides data (gleaned from Census 1990 and 2000) about the demographics of Chinese American communities nationwide.

We the Americans: Asians
We the Americans: Asians is a report issued by the Census Bureau following the 1990 Census that tracks trends and statistics about the Asian American population. For the latest demographic information on Asian Americans in the United States based on the 2000 Census, keep an eye out for an updated version of We the Americans: Asians, expected in 2003-2004.
Access in PDF Format
(Requires Acrobat Reader.
Download here.)

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American Heritage Project: American Immigration Law Foundation
This program is dedicated to the research and documentation of contributions made by specific immigrant groups to American society. Each year, AHP examines a different group and honors its achievements with a festive gala. The AHP focused on Chinese Americans during 2000-2001. The web site contains links to resources about notable Chinese Americans as well as a description of the 2001 benefit.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum
The largest immigration hub in the country, Ellis Island welcomed over twelve million people to America during its six decades of operation.

Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
The Research Center gathers documents and other resources relating to immigration history and serves the community by disseminating this information through conferences, publications, education and research tools. Located in Minneapolis, the center's materials relate to the entire nation, with particular focus on the waves of immigration from Eastern Europe and the Near East in the 19th century.

Immigration and Naturalization Service: Chinese Immigrant Files
Site displays indices and abstracts of INS documentation regarding Chinese immigration. The INS was the primary agency charged with enforcement of the Exclusion Acts.

Immigration in the United States
This web site contains information about racist and xenophobic tendencies in American immigration policy, with particular attention to the Chinese Exclusion Acts and other anti-Asian measures.

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Asian-Pacific Americans in the Military: A Timeline
Gathered by the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, this military timeline chronicles the contributions that Asian Americans have made to the U.S. Armed Forces. Arranged by month, the listing has dates from as long ago as the nineteenth century.

Association to Commemorate the Chinese Serving in the American Civil War
Dr. Gordon Kwok JD created this site to accompany his extensive research into Asian participation in the American Civil War. Many of his findings, the collection of which will eventually be published, can be found on his site. Kwok also notes the work of Terry Foenander, an Australian researcher whose work also focuses on this under-reported topic.

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Asian American Journalists Association
The AAJA is an organization that seeks to increase employment of Asian Americans in journalism and to encourage young people in the community to pursue careers in journalism.

Asia Society
The Asia Society works to bring awareness and understanding of Asian-Pacific culture through education and advocacy. Its efforts encompass the area from Japan to Iran, and from Central Asia to New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Sites located in New York, California, Texas, Washington D.C., and internationally.

The Asia Society sponsors www.asiasource.org, a resource that allows users to search for events, experts, etc. about Asian culture and society internationally www.asiabusinesstoday.org, a similar resource for the business and financial world.

Asian American Arts Centre
Through exhibitions, education, and performances, the Asian American Arts Centre fosters growth in the Asian American cultural community.

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Founded by members of the legal profession, AALDEF works to educate Asian Americans across the country so that they may be active participants in American civic life.

Asian American Writers' Workshop
The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, development, publication and dissemination of Asian American literature.

Asian Film Foundation
The foundation and its web site provide information about Asian and Asian-American film makers (directors/actors/etc.) and their works. Also include listings of events in the film industry, such as film festivals and premieres that highlight the work of Asian-American artists.

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
APAICS seeks to encourage political empowerment of Asian Americans and to serve as a support network for Asian Americans wishing to enter into elected office. Members of the institute also provide resources about the APA community to Congressional Representatives.

Chinese American Citizens' Alliance
The Alliance fights against racial discrimination of all kinds and upholds the civil rights of every Chinese American citizen.

Coalition for Asian American Children & Families
Believing that the notion of "model minority" status obscures the true quality of life of many Asian Americans, CACF seeks to increase services for Asian American families struggling with poverty, social isolation, limited education, and cultural and language barriers. CACF advocates for better child-care, health care, after school programs, and child abuse and prevention services for these families.

Coalition for Asian Pacific American Youth
Run by and for young people of Asian Pacific American descent, CAPAY offers an opportunity to voice concerns about the Asian American community and to learn leadership skills necessary to succeed.

CAUSE-Vision 21
CAUSE-Vision 21 advocates political empowerment of the Asian American community through voter registration, outreach and community development.

The China Institute
Established in 1926, China Institute in America is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational and cultural institution that promotes the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of traditional and contemporary Chinese civilization, culture and heritage, and provides the cultural and historical context for understanding contemporary China.

Committee of 100
The Committee of 100 is a national organization composed of American citizens of Chinese descent who have achieved positions of leadership in the United States. Members address issues concerning the Chinese American community and U.S.-China relations.

Families with Children from China
This organization serves as a network of parents who have adopted children from China and a source of information for prospective parents.

Model Minority
A group that advocates Asian American empowerment, Model Minority offers research articles, commentaries, literature, pictures and other documentary sources of the Asian American experience.

NAATA (National Asian American Telecommunication Association)
NAATA produces, funds, distributes and exhibits films that address the experiences of Asian Pacific Americans.

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
The NAPABA is a national network of Asian Pacific American judges, lawyers, law students and law professors who advocate for the legal interests of the Asian Pacific American community.

National Asian Women's Health Organization
NAWHO is an advocacy group that spreads awareness and fights for changes in the healthcare industry that will benefit all people, and primarily Asian American women and their families. NAWHO maintains that education and personal empowerment are essential to proper and effective health care.

National Association of Asian American Professionals
Through community education and participation, members of the National Association of Asian American Professionals support leadership and career development for all Asian Americans.

Organization of Chinese Americans
OCA is an advocacy organization that is dedicated to securing the rights of Chinese American citizens at all levels of government.

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Polly Bemis (Lalu Nathoy)
This web site features the story of Warren, Idaho's most famous resident, Chinese American Lalu Nathoy.

Charlie Chin
Charlie Chin: Story of a storyteller
A profile of singer, storyteller, artist and activist Charlie Chin

Vincent Chin
Asian Week: Remembering Vincent Chin;
USAsians.net: The Murder of Vincent Chin
These links lead to articles about the controversial Vincent Chin murder.

Dr. David Ho
David Ho: TIME Man of the Year
Follow this link to read the TIME magazine cover story from 1996, the year when Dr. Ho was named TIME Man of the Year for his breakthrough theory of AIDS.

Gish Jen
Powells.com: Gish Jen Passes Muster - Again
This site features a 1999 interview with Gish Jen, the celebrated novelist whose works include Typical American and Mona in the Promised Land.

Maya Lin
Great Buildings.com: Maya Lin
Web site features a profile of the artist, and links to various other internet reference sources about her life and work.

Samuel C.C. Ting
Samuel Ting, physics, 1976
His nobel prize profile.

Yung Wing
Yale University: Yung Wing
The first Chinese to earn an American college degree, Yung Wing graduated from Yale University in 1854. This web site comes from the manuscript and archive division of the Yale University Library and includes a brief biography of Yung Wing. Visit Visit site to explore Cedar Hill Cemetery's page devoted to Yung Wing's gravesite.

Anna May Wong
The first Chinese American woman to become a Hollywood star, Wong acted in over 50 films during a career that spanned 4 decades.

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The American West


Asian-Americans in the West
This site from the City University of New York contains links to primary sources and some secondary sources on Asian American history.

The Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles
Located in Old Chinatown, this museum is a rich resource for exploring the culture and history of the Chinese in America. In addition to permanent gallery exhibits, the museum engages in community outreach (through lectures, presentations and educational classes) and also sponsors traveling exhibits, newsletters, and a virtual museum on their web site.
The Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles is located at: 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Donaldina Cameron House
Located on Sacramento Street in San Francisco, the Donaldina Cameron House has, for 124 years, provided support to Asian American women and their families. Donaldina Cameron devoted forty years of her life to this mission, founded by the Presbyterian Church during the era of Chinese exclusion. The organization aided young Asian women who were smuggled into the U.S. and treated as commodities to be bought and sold as domestic workers and prostitutes. More than a century later, the Cameron House remains a valuable resource to the Asian American community in San Francisco's Chinatown.

The Multicultural American West: A Resource Site
This web site features resources compiled by the American Studies Program at Washington State University. The resources listed help the visitor to learn more about the various cultures that settled in the American West, including Native Americans, Latino Americans and Asian Americans.

Angel Island

Angel Island
Opened in 1910, the Immigration Station on Angel Island monitored the flow of Chinese immigrants into the American west in the era of the Exclusion Act. The detention center operated until the 1940s when WWII altered the global political dynamic; China's valuable alliance with the United States in the Pacific War justified a reversal of the government's exclusionary policies. Today Angel Island houses a museum and is in the midst of a renovation that will restore its facilities and preserve its history.

Angel Island: Immigrant Journeys of Chinese Americans
An oral history of Chinese immigrant detainees, by Photojournalist Lydia Lum. This ongoing project documents the individual histories of Angel Island detainees and their families. The traveling photo exhibition contains images from the era of Angel Island's operation as well as photos and stories from surviving detainees.

The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is the nonprofit partner of California State Parks and the National Park Service in the effort to preserve, restore and interpret the historic immigration station.

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Gold Rush

California Gold Rush
The web site for the Sacramento Bee -- a newspaper serving the greater Sacramento, CA area, contains a special section documenting the California Gold Rush with a section devoted to Asian Americans and the era of western development.

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Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
A documentary and photographic history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, this online museum pays particular attention to the contributions of Chinese Americans during the construction of this watershed transportation system.

Golden Spike National Historic Site
Located in Brigham City, Utah, the Golden Spike National Historic Site marks the point where, in 1869, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads joined to create the first transcontinental railroad, a great accomplishment for a growing nation and for the growing population of Chinese Americans who had labored during its construction.

Union Pacific Railroad
Many Chinese Americans labored to build this important transportation network in the 19th century. The company's web site includes a section on the history of the construction, complete with photographs. A quick search will yield images of Chinese workers riding handcars and performing other duties that improved travel on the rails.

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Other Regional History and Culture

Asian American Arts Alliance
The AAAA is an organization that raises awareness of Asian American art through its publications, exhibitions, festivals and public outreach.

Asian American Comparative Collection
This project is run by the curator of the Library of Anthropology at the University of Idaho, who has researched and compiled data about the Asian immigration to the Northwestern United States. In addition to general historical information, the website contains links to sites throughout the region that have particular significance for Chinese Americans, including museums, cultural centers and landmarks.

Asian American Federation of New York
The Asian American Federation of New York is a non-profit advocacy group that provides leadership and community building for Asian Americans living in the New York Metropolitan area. The group also releases periodic studies and reports gleaned from U.S. Census data and statistics.

The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco
The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco is a major community-based, non-profit organization established in 1965 to foster the understanding and appreciation of Chinese and Chinese American art, history, and culture in the United States.

Chinese Historical and Cultural Project
The Chinese Historical and Cultural Project (CHCP) is based in Santa Clara County, California and promotes Chinese American and Chinese history and culture through community outreach activities. Website includes descriptions of Chinese customs and information about the Chinese experience in California and in America.

The Chinese Historical Society of New England
The Chinese Historical Society of New England is dedicated solely to documenting, preserving and promoting the history and legacy of Chinese immigration in New England.

Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans
The Coalition is a volunteer organization dedicated to building a sense of community among Asian Pacific Americans throughout the New York Metropolitan area.

Midwest Asian American Students Union
MAASU is a collaboration of student leaders across the Midwestern United States, united to bring about increased understanding and friendship between Asian American youth in the region. While the union focuses primarily on concerns in the Asian American student communities, its work also combats racism and discrimination against all groups.

Museum of Chinese in The Americas
The Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MoCA) is the first fulltime, professionally staffed museum dedicated to reclaiming, preserving, and interpreting the history and culture of Chinese and their descendants in the Western Hemisphere. MoCA is located at: 70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013

Smithsonian Institution: Asian Pacific American Program
The Asian Pacific American Program provides leadership and support for all Asian Pacific American events and activities at the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex, located in the heart of Washington, D.C.

The Story of Charlie Chan
Famous Hollywood movie character Charlie Chan was in fact based on Honolulu Police Department Detective Chang Apana, who joined the force in 1898.

The Wing Luke Asian Museum
The Wing Luke Asian Museum engages the Asian Pacific American communities and the public in exploring issues related to culture, art and history of Asian Pacific Americans. The Community Heritage Center (CHC) is a new initiative to spark preservation efforts among Asian Pacific American communities in the Pacific Northwest and increase access to a wealth of historic resource materials. The Wing Luke Asian Museum is located at: 407 Seventh Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104.

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