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Chinese Americans growing up in Chinatown during the 1940s and 50s



2017 Release of Volume II 

Sept 9, 2017 -Another successful event - Stories of the Journey to the West of these early Chinese American immigrant families amidst sacrifice, discrimination during Post WWII. Their resilience, culture and community bonds enabled them to achieve the American Dream.

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Look for a Digital Collection of these narratives in the Chinatown Legacy Project of the NYC Public Library Website





Volume II: New York City Chinatown Chinese: Narratives of a Village and a Community


Some called them "The Greatest Generation" -

A Journey to the West of Cantonese Chinese to achieve the American Dream.  And they did it in one generation!

Sharing our Narratives. Connecting with community.







  • Chinatown Legacy Project - Digital Collection at the NYC Public Library

  • MOCA Digital Collection

  • One Nation: Many Voices - Smithsonian Museum of American History

  • Featured on SinoVision TV 

Coming Next 

2013 50s Kick Off Oral History Party 

The Kick off on May 4, 2013 was a huge success.   Over a 100 attended bringing their memories and memorabilia to network and meet old friends. A fabulous Dim Sum Lunch whet our appetites to share stories.

Posted May 8, 2013

Posted May 20, 2014

The Oral History Project convened again at the 2014 Las Vegas Reunion, interviewing and collecting more stories

2014 Chinatown Reunion in Las Vegas

2015 Release of Volume I: Who are the Cantonese Chinese ?

May 9, 2015-Stories of Cantonese Chinese Americans growing up in NYC's Chinatown--Groups shared their experiences over a Dim Sum Lunch about community, parents, and success. Ted Ho summarized it with "They "did exactly what their immigrant parents wanted them to do, and they did it in one generation".

Posted February 20, 2015



A New York Chinatown Project.  Many lived within the 1 mile radius of New York City's Mott Street of Chinatown in 1940s-1960s.  Others came from the boroughs, from greater NYC, and from New Jersey for Chinese School or social networking.  Today, many have had successful lives and productive careers despite the discrimination and poverty that surrounded us, and the limited opportunities and access to the mainstream.  Our Chinese value system and Chinatown community kept us strong. 

As time moves on, we need to capture the valuable memories and stories of survival and success for our children, ourselves, and for history.  Each of us has had some life altering experience; each has had some fond memory that sustained us.  We need everyone's participation and contributions.  You have the stories.  You are the network.  Let's use this group to gather interested individuals to do it together.


The one thing missing in the literature is the NY Chinatown story.  The story of the Toisanese Chinese generation that immigrated to this nation in the 1900’s, the 1920’s, the 1930’s, and their offspring: “The Jook Sing generation”.  Our cohort, our achievements and our experiences in America are generally invisible by and large to the American public.

What was it like growing up in America?  What was going on in our families in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s?  What did we do then?  How did we survive?  What were our challenges?  How did our parents make it, and more importantly, what are the contributions of our generation?  So, who cares about us?    We care.  

Florence Ho, owner of the Port Arthur Restaurant, said this once at a wedding banquet at her restaurant:   “Someone should explore the archive at PS 23 and follow-up on all its graduates.  If they did, they will uncover a goldmine of talent and people who have made a significant impact on this country!  People need to know about that.”   We include PS 130, PS 1 and PS 65.  (Quoted by James Moy) 

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